‘My goal is to secure justice’: Uvalde County district attorney says school shooting investigation could result in criminal charges

Christina Mitchell Busbee spoke with the Uvalde Leader-News on Friday

UVALDE, TEXAS - MAY 27: Christina Mitchell Busbee, 38th Judicial District Attorney, speaks during a press conference about the mass shooting at Uvalde High School on May 27, 2022 in Uvalde, Texas. (Photo by Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images) (Michael M Santiago/GettyImages, 2022 Getty Images)

UVALDE, Texas – The Uvalde County District Attorney is breaking her silence on the Robb Elementary School mass shooting investigation just days after surveillance video was leaked from two Austin news outlets.

Christina Mitchell Busbee, the 38th Judicial District Attorney, spoke with the Uvalde Leader-News on Friday, saying that she has avoided commenting on the investigation so far to avoid jeopardizing the investigation and any criminal charges that may arise from it.

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“My primary duty as the 38th Judicial District Attorney for Real and Uvalde counties is to see that justice is done in a fair and impartial manner to determine if actions in my jurisdiction rise to the level of a felony criminal offense,” Busbee told the Uvalde newspaper. “This review can only occur after all the facts and evidence regarding an event have been gathered properly and responsibly by law enforcement without bias, prejudice, or hasty conclusions.”

The DA’s handling of the shooting investigation so far has received criticism from state and local leaders, including from Uvalde Mayor Don McLaughlin and other Uvalde community members.

Busbee’s office reportedly gave the surveillance video to the Texas Department of Public Safety officials as part of the investigation, but blocked law enforcement agencies and a Texas House committee from releasing any of its contents to the public, before it got leaked.

“My goal is to secure justice for the victims, their families, and the citizens of the 38th Judicial District. This goal cannot be accomplished unless there is a thorough investigation buttressed by fairness, integrity and impartiality free from political and media pressures,” Busbee told the newspaper.

“This investigation has been and will continue to be a top priority of my office as local, state, and federal agencies continue to work together to collect, process, and analyze all the evidence that will hopefully produce a clear understanding of this tragedy.”

Busbee said throughout the course of the investigation, she’s worked alongside state and local agencies and the governor’s office to “secure state funding” and provide counseling services for the shooting victims’ families and the community.

She added that she will “continue in this endeavor.”

According to the Uvalde newspaper, Busbee has also stayed silent out of consideration for the victims’ families and the pain they’ve experienced since that tragic day.

She said the early releases of information by law enforcement and public officials has only added to the families’ suffering.

“As we have seen, law enforcement and public officials made statements early on to advise the public of the facts of this horrible event in Uvalde. The release of initial information, unfortunately, was based on an investigation which had only just begun. This led to misunderstandings and corrections that only added to the pain and suffering of the victims, families, and our community.

“Like all Texas prosecutors, I am ethically prohibited by the Texas Disciplinary Rules of Professional Conduct from commenting on any investigation conducted by a law enforcement agency.

“Viewed against this backdrop, all I am ethically permitted to say is that there exists an investigation by the Texas Rangers, with the assistance of the FBI, into the mass shooting at Robb Elementary,” she said.

A detailed report on the surveillance video is expected to be released Sunday by a Texas House committee.

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