Survivors of the shooting are pursuing an estimated $27 billion in damages from the City of Uvalde, its police department, and numerous law enforcement agencies and officials.
The survivors of the May mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, have filed a $27 billion class action lawsuit against the city, the school district, and numerous law enforcement agencies and officials.
According to National Public Radio, the lawsuit was filed earlier this week in an Austin-based federal court.
The lawsuit names as defendants the City of Uvalde, the Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District and its police department, the Uvalde Police Department, and the Texas Department of Public Safety.
Several individual officers from both the Uvalde Police Department and the Department of Public Safety are named in the complaint.
National Public Radio notes that Steve McGraw, head of the state Department of Public Safety, is among the individual defendants listed in the lawsuit.
McGraw has continued to maintain that the state did not waver or fail in its response to the Uvalde shooting, which left 18 students and two teachers dead.
Another 17 were injured at the school; the gunman also shot and injured his own grandmother at an off-site residence.
While Uvalde police officials have insisted that they did everything they could to protect children inside Robb Elementary, independent investigations suggest that officers did not follow their own training procedures.
According to N.P.R., an estimated 376 officers from local, state, and federal agencies gathered outside of Robb Elementary School, preventing parents from entering its premises.
When officers eventually entered the school, they lingered in a hallway even as gunman Salvador Ramos continued to search classrooms for surviving students.
Only after an hour had passed did officers breach the classroom, engaging and killing Ramos after he opened fire on officers.
The Wall Street Journal observes that Ramos was confronted not by local law enforcement or state-level authorities, but by federal Border Patrol officers who had responded to reports of an active shooter in Uvalde.
“Law enforcement took seventy-seven minutes to accomplish what they were duty bound to expeditiously perform,” the lawsuit states.
“In making their decisions on how to proceed, it is clear that they raised their own safety above and beyond Plaintiffs,” the lawsuit claims.
As LegalReader.com has reported before, the City of Uvalde has also filed a lawsuit against Uvalde County District Attorney Christina Mitchell, demanding that she share evidence obtained during her investigation into the mass shooting.
“Despite the City of Uvalde’s efforts to amicably obtain the necessary investigative materials for its ongoing Uvalde Police Department’s Internal Affairs investigation, the District Attorney has blocked the City’s ability to obtain critical information to assess its officers’ actions and compliance with police department policies and expectations,” the city said in a statement announcing the lawsuit.