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State police investigating the Uvalde school shooting have sent an initial report to the prosecutor’s office, a spokesman for the Texas Department of Public Safety said.
The Texas Rangers, a division of the DPS, are conducting a criminal investigation into the shooting at Robb Elementary School, where a gunman killed 19 children and two teachers in May. Hundreds of law enforcement officers responded to the school, including from the traffic police, did not collide with the shooter per over an hour after initial reports of gunshots.
Uvalde District Attorney Christina Mitchell said the Rangers investigation remains open and that she did not expect a full report for at least another few months. Neither she nor DPS have yet released an initial report. The investigation is expected to eventually include a check to see if there were any victims who died could have survived if the police had intervened earlier.
DPS director Steve McCraw said last fall that Rangers investigation will be completed by the end of December.
“The initial report is what the director had in mind and was provided to the DA’s team last week,” agency spokesman Travis Considine wrote in an email this week.
In previous statements, Mitchell said she needed a completed investigation to decide on possible charges, including against any of the nearly 400 officers whose acts and omissions were exposed. under scrutiny after the massacrewhich became the deadliest school shooting in Texas history.
“I do not expect to receive a full investigation report until spring, at the earliest,” Mitchell said in an email last week. “An investigation of this magnitude often takes more than a year.”
Mitchell did not respond to subsequent emails about what reports she received from the state police and what additional information she expected in the completed report.
“I will no longer comment on the Texas Rangers investigation into Robb,” she wrote in an email. “The prosecutor’s office does not comment [on]a criminal investigation is underway.”
At least one part of the investigation is yet to be completed.
AND medical analysis of injured victims — led by Dr. Mark Escott, medical director of the Texas Department of Public Safety and chief medical officer for the city of Austin — to “determine if there were opportunities to save lives if emergency medical care had been provided sooner” has continued since Tuesday, a city spokesman said Austin.
This review began in earnest sometime in November. The autopsy of the victims, key to the examination, was completed a few weeks ago. The results of the autopsy have since been classified. local news.
Considine, a DPS spokesman, said the investigation is generally considered to be ongoing – and the report is initial, not final – because “Rangers may be receiving assignments from special prosecutors for some time, which will result in additional information.”
He did not respond to additional questions about whether any special prosecutors oversee Uvalde’s investigation and, if so, whether they gave the Rangers any assignments.
Numerous variables can affect the time it takes to complete a high-profile investigation as complex as that of the Uvalda shooting when hundreds of first responders, many with body cameras, were at the scene, which was mostly defined by chaos and disorderaccording to law enforcement experts.
“It’s a huge level of officers who were involved in this, who were organized and responded, and then you have all the families, you have all the 911 calls, the videos. In this particular case, there is an incredible amount of data to go through,” said Pat McLaughlin, a former New York City Police Department crime investigator who retired in 2017. “Especially because it is so important on so many levels.”
At least two state police officers have already been fired for their actions in response to the shooting.
Ranger Christopher Ryan Kindell was discontinued last week for allegedly improper performance of their duties; Kindell planned to appeal.
Juan Maldonado, the DPS sergeant who also responded to the shooting, was discontinued in October. Maldonado chose to resign rather than appeal his dismissal.
McCraw, the head of the agency, said he would resign if his soldiers were “guilty” of the failed police response. He later said: “DPS as an organization has not let the community down right now“.
Given that some officers had already been disciplined, another police expert wondered if there was a conflict of interest for the state police in the investigation into the shooting, in which 91 of the 376 officers who responded were members of their own forces.
A traffic police spokesman did not immediately respond to questions on the matter on Tuesday.
“When you have an agency that your people were involved in and who may have violated government training and your agency policy, which we know the DPS did because they already released some commanders, how can you now conduct an honest and impartial investigation?” said former Houston police chief Charles A. McClelland.
Zach Despart contributed to this story.