Scene of Texas school shooting
Scene of Texas school shooting REUTERS/Marco Bello

The Justice Department said on Sunday it will review the law enforcement response to the school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, last week, The Associated Press reported.

Department spokesman Anthony Coley said the review would be conducted in a fair, impartial and independent manner and the findings would be made public.

The goal of the review, which the mayor requested, is “to provide an independent account of law enforcement actions and response that day, and to identify lessons learned and best practices to help first responders prepare for and respond to active shooter events,” Coley said in a statement quoted by AP.

Handling the review is the department's Office of Community Oriented Policing Services. It was not immediately clear how the review would be conducted, whether law enforcement officials could be compelled to cooperate in the review and when it might be completed.

Such a review is somewhat rare and most after-action reports that come after a mass shooting are generally compiled by local law enforcement agencies or outside groups.

The announcement follows intense criticism of the police over why it took well over an hour to neutralize the gunman, who ultimately killed 19 children and two teachers at Robb Elementary School.

A top Texas security official acknowledged on Friday that police were wrong to delay storming the classroom in Uvalde where the gunman was holed up with dead and wounded children.

Texas authorities said on Thursday that the gunman, Salvador Ramos, lingered outside the building for 12 minutes firing shots, before walking into the school and barricading in a classroom where he killed 19 children and two teachers.

The announcement of the probe came as President Joe Biden was visiting Uvalde, where he and first lady Jill Biden paid their respects at a memorial to the 19 students and two teachers killed in the shooting.