Yeah, I know, what took so long?
The Uvalde County prosecutor said she’ll present a case stemming from the Robb Elementary School massacre to a grand jury by the end of this year.
The Texas Department of Public Safety has handed the findings of is investigation of the May 24, 2022, killing of 19 students and two teachers at the Uvalde school to District Attorney Christina Mitchell earlier this summer.
“I’ve had it since July — two months,” Mitchell said of the state police agency’s case file.
She said her office is still combing through a mountain of evidence.
The case file — produced by the Texas Rangers, an arm of DPS — includes police and federal agents’ reports and supplementary documents, transcripts of interviews of witnesses and survivors and recordings from school surveillance, police car and body-worn cameras, as well as video of the 18-year-old gunman buying guns at a Uvalde gun store before his rampage.
Mitchell declined to say what her investigation is focusing on, potential targets or what evidence will go before grand jurors.
Dr. Mark Escott, the chief medical officer for DPS and the city of Austin, has been leading a panel of experts sought by the Texas Rangers to try to determine whether any of the children or teachers killed at Robb could have survived if first responders had gotten to them quicker.
Officials have said the gunman appeared to have shot most of his victims within the first few minutes of entering Robb.
Mitchell has planned to use the results of the review by Escott and other medical experts to help determine whether to charge any responding officers. However, Escott told ABC News earlier this month that he had requested medical records from Mitchell’s office last fall but had yet to receive any of them.
“It’s been months,” he told ABC News in early August. “And the most important piece of evidence are the autopsies, and I don’t have any of those.”
Mitchell declined to comment on Escott’s remarks, whether her office has given him the information, or whether he remains a go-to medical expert for the investigation.
“It’s disappointing to have a potential expert on the case discussing it in the press,” Mitchell said.
Escott did not respond to a request for comment.
Not a whole lot of actual information in that update, but here we are. There are two main points to note. One is that the main reason there has been so little disclosure of what law enforcement was and wasn’t doing during the shooting is because the official investigation into the shooting did not end in a conviction, due to what is known as the dead suspect loophole. I am assuming that at the end of this procedure we will finally begin to get some of those answers. I’m not certain of this, and there are many good reasons to be suspicious, but this is at least a step forward, after far too much time. At least we’ll see if there’s evidence to suggest that the cops on the scene screwed up enough to have cost some victims their lives.
The other thing to remember is that the people of Uvalde remain, justifiably, very very angry about this.
Uvalde Mayor Don McLaughlin called on District Attorney Christina Mitchell to resign over her handling of the Robb Elementary School shooting investigation.
McLaughlin said Monday that the city of Uvalde has waited for documents, including autopsy reports, from Mitchell’s office in order to conclude its own investigation more than 15 months after the shooting that killed 19 children and two teachers.
“Since day one, we have called for transparency from every agency that was there that day. Local, state, and federal agencies, we are all adults and need to just lay the facts on the table,” Mclaughlin said in a statement. “It’s been fifteen months since this tragedy, and I feel the families and our community deserve answers.”
McLaughlin said the city of Uvalde has sued the DA for access to the records for a second time.
“The initial lawsuit was dismissed because of the D.A. Mitchell promising to cooperate with the City,” he said. “She failed, once again, to keep her word. The city had to file suit a second time, because D.A. Mitchell continues to block the City’s investigation.”
McLaughlin is a Republican, who is also now running for the HD80 seat being vacated by longtime Dem Rep. Tracy King. It’s an excellent flip opportunity for the Republicans, and I suspect McLaughlin would have some crossover appeal just because of this issue. That will be a race to watch. I certainly wish him well in getting the data his city has demanded from DA Mitchell. Reform Austin has more.