19 Uvalde School Shooting Families In Texas Sue For $500 Million

Families Of 19 Students Impacted By The Uvalde School Shooting Sue Texas State Police In $500 Million Lawsuit 

Grieving Texan families are now seeking monetary justice for the children impacted by the 2022 Uvalde school shooting. Families of 19 victims banded together for a federal lawsuit seeking $500 million and announced it on Wednesday (May 22).

Seventeen of the families lost their children, while the other two families had wounded children.

RELATED: The Texas Department Of Public Safety Shares A Detailed Timeline Of The Uvalde School Shooting 

Ninety-two Texas Department of Public Safety officials and troopers are being sued. The paperwork cites a botched law enforcement response to “one of the deadliest school shootings in U.S. history,” per The Associated Press.

The lawsuit documents also list the Uvalde School District, former Robb Elementary Principal Mandy Gutierrez, and former Uvalde Schools police Chief Peter Arredondo as defendants.

Uvalde School Shooting Lawsuit Details

The lawsuit announcement in Uvalde came two days before the two-year anniversary of the massacre. Salvador Ramos, 18 at the time, opened fire inside a Robb Elementary School classroom on May 24, 2022. Ultimately, he killed 19 fourth-graders and two teachers after also shooting his grandmother at her home.

The lawsuit notes that state troopers did not follow their active shooter training or confront the shooter. Meanwhile, the students and teachers inside were following their own lockdown protocols of turning off lights, locking doors and staying silent.

“The protocols trap teachers and students inside, leaving them fully reliant on law enforcement to respond quickly and effectively,” the families and their attorneys said in a statement.

Terrified students inside the classroom called 911 as agonized parents begged officers — some of whom could hear shots being fired while they stood in a hallway — to go in.

More than 370 federal, state, and local officers were at the scene, but they waited more than 70 minutes before confronting the shooter. A tactical team killed Ramos 77 minutes after police first arrived on the scene.

Lawsuit Follows DOJ’s Lengthy Investigation Into The Police Response

The families said they also agreed to a $2 million settlement with the city, under which city leaders promised higher standards and better training for local police. They capped their settlement at $2 million because they didn’t want to bankrupt the city where they still live. The city will pay the settlement using insurance coverage.

The lawsuit described above is the latest of several seeking accountability for the law enforcement response.

It is also the first filed after the Department of Justice’s 600-page analysis of the incident. DOJ released its report in January of this year. It detailed “cascading failures” in training, communication, leadership, and technology problems that day.

A separate lawsuit filed by different plaintiffs in December 2022 against local and state police, the city, and other school and law enforcement seeks at least $27 billion and class-action status for survivors. At least two other lawsuits have been filed against Georgia-based gun manufacturer Daniel Defense, which made the AR-style rifle Ramos used.

Meanwhile, a criminal investigation into the police response by Uvalde District Attorney Christina Mitchell’s office is ongoing. A grand jury was summoned this year, and some law enforcement officials have already been called to testify.


Associated Press staff Acacia Coronado and Jim Vertuno contributed to this report.

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