After more than a year of pressure to file criminal charges against some of the Texas law enforcement officers responsible for the botched response to the Robb Elementary School shooting, local prosecutor Christina Mitchell last month convened a grand jury to investigate.

But even after that monthslong review is complete, law enforcement officers may not face criminal charges, legal experts say. That’s because police officers are almost never criminally prosecuted — and charges for failing to act are even more rare.

Grand jury proceedings in Texas are kept secret and it’s not typically known how cases are presented to jurors who decide whether there’s enough evidence to formally charge someone with a crime or proceed to a trial.

It’s unclear whether Uvalde’s District Attorney plans to present evidence to grand jurors that some victims would have survived had medical responders started treatment earlier. Hundreds of officers who responded to the shooting waited 77 minutes to breach the classrooms, where a gunman used an AR-15 rifle to indiscriminately shoot students and teachers in two adjoining fourth-grade classrooms. Nineteen students and two teachers died in the May 24, 2022 shooting.

The Texas Rangers in August 2022 asked Dr. Mark Escott, medical director for Texas Department of Public Safety and chief medical officer for the city of Austin, to look into the injuries of the victims and determine whether any victims could have survived. Four of the victims are known to have had heartbeats when they were rescued from the classrooms.

But one year later, Mitchell’s office told Escott it was “moving in a different direction” and no longer wanted the analysis to be performed.

“It’s unclear to me why they would not want an analysis such as this done,” Escott said.

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Photo Credit: Kaylee Greenlee Beal for The Texas Tribune