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A Uvalde grand jury will weigh charges related to the Robb Elementary shooting

 A vigil for the victims if the Uvalde school shooting outside of Robb Elementary School in Uvalde on Friday, May 27
Bri Kirkham
Texas Public Radio
A vigil for the victims if the Uvalde school shooting outside of Robb Elementary School in Uvalde on Friday, May 27

A grand jury in Uvalde County has been impaneled to determine if charges should be brought in connection to law enforcement’s response to the mass shooting at Robb Elementary in May 2022, according to local reports.

The latest development, first reported by the Uvalde Leader-News, comes one day after the U.S. Department of Justice issued a blistering report about the botched response to the shooting, where 19 children and two schoolteachers were shot to death by an 18-year-old gunman.

The office of Uvalde County District Attorney Christina Mitchell did not respond to a request for comment. The Leader-News reported the jurors could spend up to six months reviewing the evidence.

The DOJ report released Thursday found "cascading failures" by law enforcement contributed to the massacre as officers waited more than an hour to engage the gunman, NPR reported.

“The law enforcement response at Robb Elementary School on May 24, 2022, and in the hours and days after was a failure that should not have happened,” U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland said Thursday in Uvalde after the report was released to the victims’ families.

The most egregious error, according to the report, was that law enforcement officers treated the situation as a barricaded-gunman event and not one where more victims were possible.

“The most significant failure was that responding officers should have immediately recognized the incident as an active shooter situation, using the resources and equipment that were sufficient to push forward immediately and continuously toward the threat until entry was made into classrooms," the report states.

Victims’ family members said Thursday that, while they were grateful the federal government conducted its own investigation, they wanted to see more details about which individual officers didn’t follow active-shooter protocols, The Texas Newsroom reported Thursday.

“Everybody should have been named,” Kimberly Rubio, mother of 10-year-old victim Lexi, said during a news conference. “I don’t understand why they are allowed privacy. My child — their children — they are named in this report because they are dead.”

The exact scope and focus of what the grand jury will review is unclear. In a statement to the Leader-News, Mitchell said: “I am continuously mindful of my responsibility to the victims, their families, to those under a cloud of accusation and to our community.”

Some victims’ family members have called on Mitchell to pursue criminal charges against officers on the scene that day. Nearly 400 state and local law enforcement personnel responded to the shooting.

Copyright 2024 KERA. To see more, visit KERA.

Julián Aguilar | The Texas Newsroom