Uvalde settles for $2m with school shooting victims’ families | Gun Violence News

Announcement comes two days before the two-year anniversary of the massacre at the elementary school in the Texas city.

The city of Uvalde has reached a $2m settlement with most of the families of the victims of a mass shooting at an elementary school in Texas city, one of their lawyers has said.

The announcement on Wednesday came two days before the second anniversary of the massacre.

In one of the deadliest school shootings in US history, 19 children and two teachers were killed on May 24, 2022, when a gunman entered Robb Elementary School in Uvalde and barricaded himself inside adjoining classrooms with dozens of students.

A US Department of Justice review found local police ignored accepted practices by failing to confront the attacker, instead waiting outside the classroom for more than an hour despite calls for help from the children.

“The city of Uvalde has agreed to pay its insurance of $2m, which is all that there was,” Josh Koskoff, who represented families of the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, said at a briefing to announce the agreement.

He said the settlement involved the families of 17 of the children who were killed and two children who survived.

Another lawyer announced that the families of 19 of the victims launched a $500m federal lawsuit against nearly 100 state police officers who were part of the botched law enforcement response to one of the deadliest school shootings in United States history.

Families are suing 92 Texas Department of Public Safety officers who were at the incident, said Erin Rogiers, partner at Guerra LLP, who is representing families together with Koskoff and Bieder PC, in a statement.

State and federal officers made up the majority of the 376 law enforcement operatives who waited 77 minutes before confronting and killing the 18-year-old gunman, Koskoff said.

The lawsuit, seeking at least $500m in damages, is the latest of several seeking accountability for the law enforcement response.

It is the first lawsuit to be filed after a 600-page Justice Department report was released in January that catalogued “cascading failures” in training, communication, leadership and technology problems on the day of the shooting.

The lawsuit notes that state troopers did not follow their active shooter training or confront the shooter, even as 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 lawyers said in a statement.

Families of victims filed a separate lawsuit in December 2022 against local and state police, the city, and other school and law enforcement officials seeking at least $27bn and class-action status for survivors.

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