Survivors of the mass shooting that killed 19 students and two teachers in May at elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, filed a $27 billion class-action lawsuit on Tuesday against various public officials, including the school district, law enforcement agencies and individual officers. The lawsuit, filed in th US District Court for the Western District of Texas, alleges that public officials failed to follow active shooter protocols and seeks damages for the emotional and psychological wounds of survivors, including parents whose children were killed, and students, teachers and support staff who witnessed the massacre.
The school-aged victims of the tragedy, which was the deadliest US school shooting in almost a decade, were between ages 9 and 11, and many more children were wounded. Police waited more than an hour to breach the barricaded classroom despite 911 calls from students. The delay spurred investigations by the U.S. Department of Justice and the Texas Department of Public Safety. The school district’s entire police force was also suspended and a first responding officer was terminated.
Although this is the first class-action lawsuit from Uvalde, there have been a flurry of other suits connected to the tragedy. Several parents of children killed filed a separate lawsuit this week naming various defendants including gunmaker Daniel Defense, the Uvalde store where the weapon was purchased and public bodies including the City of Uvalde and the Uvalde Police Department. A father of a shooting victim and a school employee took legal action against Daniel Defense in June.
In a separate lawsuit filed on Thursday, the city of Uvalde is suing District Attorney Christina Mitchell in hopes of compelling her to hand over law enforcement investigation records related to the shooting.