SANTA FE, Texas — Families of some of the Santa Fe shooting victims are frustrated over information being leaked to a documentary filmmaker. Now they’re calling for the Galveston County Medical Examiner to resign.
“We were notified by the District Attorney’s Office that there was a potential leak of information," said John Conard, Jared Black's uncle. Black was one of the 10 people killed at Santa Fe High School in 2018.
“It’s insulting. We’ve been asking for this information for three years. My sister has personally called the medical examiner shortly after we lost Jared asking for this information," Conard said.
Information they learned was now in the hands of a documentary filmmaker.
“Information regarding the nature of the injuries, named the people, where they were shot, where their bodies were," he said.
“The documentary is a transparent look at what happened on May 18, 2018, at Santa Fe High School," said Charlie Minn, director of The Kids of Santa Fe. “I reached out to the Medical Examiner’s Office, because I had no information about any autopsy reports, no information about how many times each person was shot, what part of their body."
Minn said it’s information the Medical Examiner’s Office freely gave up. But it had been withheld from the families to not taint the trial against the accused shooter.
“The fact that a stranger was given confidential information that the families have been denied is rather insulting,” Conard said.
This uncle is now starting an online petition calling for Medical Examiner Erin Barnhart to resign. He’s also, since learning about the leak, filed open records requests for the medical examiner’s report, but has been denied.
“I felt that the only thing we could do is publicly call for the resignation of the medical examiner, we believe the breach of information is so egregious – not only emotionally to the families, but possibly jeopardizing the future prosecution," Conard said.
We called the medical examiner, and she had no comment. Galveston County District Attorney Jack Roady told KHOU 11 the information should not have been released, but he stands by the medical examiner.
"I do not believe it's going to affect the outcome of the case," Roady said.
He believes the filmmaker misrepresented the information he had during the interview. That’s something Charlie Minn denies. His documentary will be debuting next week at 6 p.m. Tuesday at Pearland Premiere Cinemas.