U.S. Justice Department
664e366ea3615f1f40f6dff5 Robb Uvalde Edited

Lawsuit from Uvalde families accuses nearly 100 Texas Public Safety officers of failing to act to prevent school shooting

May 22, 2024
19 students and 2 teachers were shot to death in May 2022 when a gunman stormed into Robb Elementary School in Uvalde.

Nineteen families of the students and teachers killed or injured at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, say they have settled a lawsuit with the city for $2 million and are suing 92 officers with Texas Department of Public Safety, the school district and individual employees.

CNN reports that the lawsuit comes just before the two-year anniversary of the May 24, 2022, shooting in which an armed 18-year-old walked into the elementary school, killed 19 children and two teachers and barricaded himself in a classroom.

A total of 376 law enforcement officers from across the region rushed to the school to respond, but 77 minutes elapsed before someone breached the door to the classroom to confront the shooter.

“This settlement reflects a first good faith effort by the city of Uvalde to begin rebuilding trust in the systems that failed to protect us,” said Veronica Luevanos, whose daughter Jailah and nephew Jayce were killed on May 24, 2022.

“But it wasn’t just Uvalde officers who failed us that day. Nearly 100 officers from the Texas Department of Public Safety have yet to face a shred of accountability for cowering in fear while my daughter and nephew bled to death in their classroom.”

As part of the settlement, Uvalde will pay the families a total of $2 million from its insurance coverage,

In addition, the city pledged to institute several policy changes to the police department, such as a new “fitness for duty” standard for police officers. 

The slow response to the gunman's attack was at odds with law enforcement active shooter protocols, widely accepted after the Columbine school shooting in 1999, to stop the threat immediately.

The police response has been criticized in a series of government investigative reports, although no one has faced criminal repercussions. A U.S. Department of Justice report in January blamed the failed response on “cascading failures of leadership, decision-making, tactics, policy, and training” on the part of law enforcement officials and said lives would have been saved if police had followed generally accepted practices.


About the Author

Mike Kennedy | Senior Editor

Mike Kennedy has been writing about education for American School & University since 1999. He also has reported on schools and other topics for The Chicago Tribune, The Kansas City Star, The Kansas City Times and City News Bureau of Chicago. He is a graduate of Michigan State University.

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