According to court records, survivors of the deadly school shooting in Uvalde, Texas’ Robb Elementary School have sued a number of Texas law enforcement agencies in a $27 billion class action lawsuit.
The city, the Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District, the school district’s police department, the Uvalde Police Department, the Texas Department of Public Safety, and a number of current or former employees of the agencies are named as defendants in the lawsuit, which was filed on Tuesday in federal court in Austin.
Parents, instructors, and other members of the school staff who were there on May 24 when 19 children and two teachers were shot and killed in adjacent classrooms just a few days before the end of the school year are among the plaintiffs. There were at least 17 other injuries.
The atrocity, the second deadliest shooting at a K–12 school in American history, drew 376 law enforcement officers from various agencies in total. Once the shooter entered two nearby classrooms, police had to wait 77 minutes before storming the building and shooting the 18-year-old Uvalde native.
The lawsuit alleges the victims and survivors “sustained emotional and psychological damages as a result of Defendants’ conduct and omissions” as a result of the shooting.
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According to the lawsuit, despite active shooter training, law enforcement “fundamentally strayed from conducting themselves in conformity with what they knew to be the well-established protocols and standards for responding to an active shooter.” The lawsuit continued by mentioning the inefficiency and lengthy response time by law enforcement to the shooting.
“Instead of swiftly implementing an organized and concerted response to an active school shooter who had breached the otherwise ‘secured’ school buildings at Robb Elementary school, the conduct of the three hundred and seventy-six (376) law enforcement officials who were on hand for the exhaustively torturous seventy-seven minutes of law enforcement indecision, dysfunction, and harm, fell exceedingly short of their duty bound standards,” the suit claims.
“There are no words to adequately express our deepest condolences to all the families who lost a loved one on May 24,” Anne Marie Espinoza, a spokesperson for the school district, said in a statement to CNN. “Uvalde CISD cannot comment on or provide information about pending litigation. As a district, we focus on supporting our students and their families as we continue to navigate these unprecedented times.”
The civil action is one of many concerning the tragedy that asks for compensation from various parties. According to a federal lawsuit filed earlier this week, nearly two dozen individuals and organizations, including the gun retailer and manufacturer that supplied the assault rifle, were negligent and failed to protect a slain student. In September, a similar complaint was brought by other families.
Separately, on Tuesday, survivors and families of the victims filed another lawsuit seeking $6 billion in damages from firearm manufacturer Daniel Defense and Uvalde gun store Oasis Outback, alleging the shooter “turned to” the manufacturer, “who, due to a concerted and intentional marketing campaign specifically aimed at the demographic of young, isolated, troubled, and violent young men, successfully won over and wooed (him).”
The lawsuit also alleges that “despite all the indicia that reasonably raised doubts as to (the gunman’s) fitness to purchase,” Oasis Outback, the Uvalde gun store that sold him guns and ammunition, allowed the purchase to happen, “effectively providing him with an inordinate amount of guns, accessories, and ammunition that should have foreseeably raised significant flags of concern.”
Apart from the $6 billion in damages, the lawsuit seeks to stop Daniel Defense from “perpetuating its marketing campaign directed at young, underage youth wherein it irresponsibly dismisses and makes light of the dangerousness of their firearms.”