Families of Uvalde School Shooting Victims Sue Texas DPS Officers for Inaction

Uvalde, Texas – Families of the victims of Texas’ deadliest school shooting are seeking justice by filing lawsuits against Texas Department of Public Safety officers who failed to confront the gunman at Robb Elementary, where 17 children were killed and two were injured. The legal action, announced by lawyers last week, targets 92 DPS officers who allegedly hesitated for 77 minutes before engaging the shooter.

Veronica Luevanos, a grieving mother who lost her daughter Jailah and nephew Jayce in the tragic incident, expressed frustration over the lack of accountability among the DPS officers. The families of the victims are also pursuing legal action against Mandy Gutierrez, the former principal of Robb Elementary, and Pedro “Pete” Arredondo, the former school district police chief, for their alleged inaction during the shooting.

In response to the lawsuits, the city of Uvalde has agreed to pay the families $2 million to avoid further legal action. Additionally, the city will implement enhanced training for current and future police officers, designate an annual day of remembrance, and collaborate with the victims’ families to create a permanent memorial at the city plaza.

During a press conference in Uvalde, attorney Josh Koskoff emphasized the systemic failures that led to the tragic outcome of the shooting, pointing out the lack of resources and training for law enforcement in small communities like Uvalde. He highlighted the need for accountability and prevention measures to avoid similar incidents in the future.

The legal battle may face challenges due to qualified immunity, which shields government officials from liability in lawsuits. However, Koskoff believes that overcoming this legal hurdle is essential to ensuring justice for the victims and holding responsible parties accountable.

State Senator Roland Gutierrez, representing Uvalde in the Legislature, introduced a bill to end qualified immunity following the shooting but faced obstacles in passing the legislation. The failures in leadership and training identified in the investigation underscore the need for comprehensive reforms in law enforcement practices to improve responses to such incidents.

The families of the victims continue to seek justice and accountability for the tragedy that unfolded at Robb Elementary two years ago. The pursuit of legal action against the involved parties reflects a broader effort to address the lapses in response and ensure that similar incidents are prevented in the future.