Judge weighing whether to allow Uvalde DA to join suit on blocked public records regarding mass shooting

Legal battle for information related to the May 24, 2022 massacre continues

The legal battle for information related to the May 2022 massacre at Robb Elementary School continues in Austin on Thursday as a judge hears arguments related to the lawsuit filed in August 2022 by KSAT 12 and more than a dozen other media organizations against the Texas Department of Public Safety.

One of the issues the lawsuit touches on is Uvalde County District Attorney Christina Mitchell’s attempts to intervene on behalf of DPS to block the release of records regarding the law enforcement response to the deadliest school shooting in Texas history.

Nineteen students and two teachers were killed during the mass shooting.

Court documents obtained Thursday show attorneys for the plaintiffs, including KSAT 12, claim Mitchell has mistakenly interpreted the Texas Public Information Act and has failed to offer arguments against releasing information that is different than what was previously put forth by DPS.

According to a previous KSAT report, the records include emails, unredacted body-worn camera and other video footage, call logs, 911 records and other emergency communications, interview notes, forensic and ballistic records, and lists of DPS personnel who responded to the tragedy.

Travis County Civil District Court Judge Daniella DeSeta Lyttle ordered DPS to begin the process of releasing records in June saying DPS had until August 31 to submit proposed redactions to the information requested in the lawsuit.

The city of Uvalde sued Mitchell last December saying her attempt to block access to records related to the shooting was affecting an independent investigator’s ability to look for policy violations by officers who responded to the massacre. The city refiled its suit against Mitchell late last month.

An update on the release of the documents requested by KSAT 12 and other news organizations is expected by Thursday evening.

For more information related to the Uvalde massacre, watch the “One Year In: Uvalde” special where KSAT 12 interviewed survivors and families of victims from the Robb Elementary School shooting as well as policymakers and residents.

Editor’s note: The video attached to this article is from a previous report.

About the Authors:

Emmy-award winning reporter Dillon Collier joined KSAT Investigates in September 2016. Dillon's investigative stories air weeknights on the Nightbeat and on the Six O'Clock News. Dillon is a two-time Houston Press Club Journalist of the Year and a Texas Associated Press Broadcasters Reporter of the Year.

Mary Claire Patton has been a journalist with KSAT 12 since 2015. She has reported on several high-profile stories during her career at KSAT and specializes in trending news and things to do around Texas and San Antonio.