'My daughter died on your watch. You owe me': Santa Fe mom needs answers year after tragedy

SANTA FE, Texas (KTRK) -- Rhonda Hart's daughter Kim Vaughan was a freshman at Santa Fe High School.

She was in art class on the morning of May 18, 2018. Kim was one of 10 people killed. Thirteen more were injured.

We've known that much since the hours after the shooting a year ago, but Rhonda tells 13 Investigates' Ted Oberg she needs more. "My daughter went to school that day and she still has not come home."

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As Hart looks back on an incredibly hard year, she tells ABC13, "I just want to know what was going through her head. Was there something that could be done?"

Her questions just won't go away. She does know her 15-year-old daughter, shot first in the stomach, didn't suffer. Rhonda's own research on gunshot wounds taught her that. It's not enough for her.

"Can you tell me in what order was she (shot)-first, second, third?" she wonders. "I want to know how this guy got into the school. What paths did he take? I would like to know just clinically at 7:40 this happened, 7:41, 7:42."

It's not an outlandish request.

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In the wake of the shooting in Parkland, Florida, first the Broward County Sheriff and then a state commission painstakingly matched surveillance video, radio traffic, eyewitness accounts, and forensic evidence to come up with a second-by-second video timeline.

It does not show video of the killings themselves, but does show exactly where the shooter and victims were. The same commission wrote a lengthy report examining every aspect of the Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School shooting.

After Santa Fe, the public has seen nothing of that sort. Santa Fe ISD superintendent Dr. Leigh Wall told ABC13 the district hired the Texas Center for School Safety to conduct an audit of the school's response and ongoing safety. It's not yet complete. Wall says it should be released this summer and she expects to release details then.

But in the meantime, Hart has few details she needs. "Little to none. What information that the parents do have, we've all kind of patchworked together between our little network."

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Henry Trochesset, the Galveston County sheriff, told 13 Investigates, "It's tough but I too would like to sleep at night knowing I'm not the one that jeopardized (the accused shooter's) trial."

Trochesset knows a lot more than he can offer grieving families before the accused Santa Fe shooter is tried. The sheriff's team completed the investigation into the shooting, but unlike in Florida, the Texas Public Information Act allows, but does not force, law enforcement and prosecutors to keep all that information private.

Hart requested some information and received a legal notice from the Texas Attorney General's Office denying her request.

Jack Roady, the Galveston County district attorney, told ABC13, "It grieves me that we have to tell these family members, 'No, that we can't share this information with you at this point.'"

It's not because he doesn't know what happened inside that school, but because prosecutors want to save it all for a court room, hoping to convict the accused shooter Dimitrios Pagourtzis.

It's likely a goal victim's families share, but also means they will learn the most personal details of how their children died in a very public setting, inside a courtroom during the trial.

District Attorney Roady knows how hard that will be.

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"There's never a good time or setting to learn those details," he said. "In the context of a courtroom, that can be even worse. It is something that is a tragedy but it's something that, that we are stuck with dealing with under the way our laws are right now."

Hart doesn't plan to be in that courtroom.

"I don't have to attend every fight I've been invited to. It's stressful," she said.

It doesn't mean she doesn't want the details and she isn't convinced she should have to wait.

"My kid died on your watch. You owe me," Hart told us.

It would take a change in Texas law to allow prosecutors or detectives to tell families those personal details without divulging them to the public as well.

District Attorney Roady says once the trial is over, it is something he is considering lobbying the legislature to do.

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