Uvalde Settles With Victims’ Families Over School Shooting

The city of Uvalde, Texas, has reached a settlement with most of the families of children who were shot by a gunman at Robb Elementary School in 2022, lawyers for the families said on Wednesday. To avert a lawsuit, the city promised to overhaul the city’s police force, create a permanent memorial to the victims and pay $2 million, the lawyers said.

The settlement, announced at a news conference in Uvalde, involved the largest group of potential plaintiffs: 17 families of children who were killed during the May 24 massacre, and two families of children who were wounded.

In addition, the lawyers said they had filed a new lawsuit against the Texas Department of Public Safety over the failure of its officers to rapidly engage the gunman, who killed a total of 19 children and two teachers inside a pair of connected classrooms. That lawsuit also names as defendants Pete Arredondo, who was chief of the Uvalde public school police department when the shooting occurred, and Mandy Gutierrez, who was principal of the school at the time.

State police officers, along with scores of officers from local agencies and federal agents, were outside the classrooms for 77 minutes before a team, led by federal Border Patrol agents, breached a door and killed the gunman.

“These officers were so terrified that they chose to abandon their burden to the Uvalde community: Put themselves between a very dangerous person and a child,” Josh Koskoff, a lawyer for the families, said in a statement.

In its settlement, the city agreed to do a better job hiring qualified officers and providing appropriate training, including on the handling of active shooters.

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