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Multiple officers ordered to testify in grand jury probe into 2022 Uvalde school massacre

By Jamiel Lynch, Shimon Prokupecz and Emma Tucker, CNN

(CNN) — Multiple law enforcement officers who responded to the 2022 school massacre in Uvalde, Texas, have been ordered to appear before a grand jury investigating the police response to the incident, a person familiar with the proceeding told CNN.

Among those subpoenaed to testify are members of the Texas Department of Public Safety who responded to Robb Elementary School on the day of the massacre, the source told CNN.

The news of the grand jury subpoenas was first reported by the Austin American-Statesman. Multiple officers who were ordered to testify are from various agencies, the newspaper reported Thursday.

The in-person testimonies before a grand jury are set to begin next week at the Uvalde County Courthouse, according to the newspaper. The investigation could result in criminal charges in connection with the shooting.

The investigation comes on the heels of a damning US Justice Department report released last month, which concluded law enforcement officers had many opportunities to reassess their flawed response to the May 24, 2022, shooting that left 19 children and two teachers dead.

Bursts of gunfire, reports a teacher had been shot and then a desperate call from a student trapped with the gunman could – and should – all have prompted a drive to stop the bloodshed far sooner, said the report.

Instead, it took 77 minutes from when the 18-year-old shooter walked into Robb Elementary School until he was stopped. The carnage remains among the deadliest episodes in America’s ongoing scourge of campus shootings.

Critical failures in leadership among specific law enforcement officers who rushed to Robb Elementary are cited by the Justice Department, whose 575-page report was released nearly 20 months after the massacre. It serves as the fullest official account of what happened, though much already was known largely through CNN investigation.

Ample problems also emerged after the gunman was killed, from getting students away from the school and reunited with families to how bereaved parents were told their children were dead, the release of information about what happened, and the provision of therapy services, the federal report found.

The department describes the quick arrival of law enforcement officers who ran toward the sound of gunfire, then almost immediately stopped once they got near the classrooms where the gunman was killing fourth graders and educators – a decision that ran counter to widely established active shooter response protocol, which instructs law enforcement to move toward and eliminate any threat.

Instead, the intensity level dropped as responders began to treat the situation as a “barricaded suspect” operation that did not need immediate action, even as more officers arrived and the signals of ongoing danger multiplied.

That was the “single most critical tactical failure,” the team from the Justice Department’s Office of Community Oriented Policing Services found.

CNN’s Rachel Clarke, Hannah Rabinowitz, Aaron Cooper and Dakin Andone contributed to this report.

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