Uvalde school shooting: Families announce $2M settlement with city, suit against state police

On Wednesday, the families of 19 victims whose loved ones were killed or injured in the shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas announced a lawsuit against nearly 100 state police officers. 

The announcement comes just days before marking two years since the shooting that killed 19 students and two teachers.

The lawsuit includes 92 Texas Department of Public Safety officials and troopers, plus former Uvalde schools police chief Pete Arredondo and Robb Elementary principal Mandy Gutierrez.

"Qualified immunity is a detail that will be fought out in court, we feel we can beat it," Josh Koskoff, the families' attorney. "The city picked up the phone and reached out, they are also citizens of the great state of Texas."

Lawyers for the families said they also plan to sue the State of Texas and the federal government.

"Maybe it turns out when you have good guys with guns, it's not that easy to take out a kid with an AR-15," said Koskoff.

The families have also agreed to a $2 million settlement with the city of Uvalde. As a part of the agreement, city leaders promised higher standards and "enhanced training" for current and future police. The city will also build a memorial to the victims and offer resources to support mental health.

The city will also pay for the upkeep of the children's graves.

The settlement will be paid from the city’s insurance coverage.

"Instead of suing the city and jeopardizing finances of anybody, families have accepted the insurance," said Koskoff.

The lawyer said the victims' families did not want to hurt the financial status of the city they still live in.

"Justice and accountability have always been our main concern," said Javier Jacinto Cazares, the father of one of the victims.

The City of Uvalde says they hope the settlement will help bring "healing and restoration" those who were affected.

"We will forever be grateful to the victims’ families for working with us over the past year to cultivate an environment of community-wide healing that honors the lives and memories of those we tragically lost. May 24th is our community's greatest tragedy," said the city in a statement.

The lawyer for the families said there's been a lot of finger pointing since the the tragedy.

He claims the children who were killed were failed long before the delayed decision to take down the gunman.

"You can say a lot of things about the law enforcement response in this case and very few of them will be good, but one thing you can't say is they caused this shooting," said Koskoff.

Koskoff helped families of the victims in the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting win a $1.4 billion defamation judgment against conspiracy theorist Alex Jones and reach a $73 million settlement with gun maker Remington, the company that made the rifle used at Sandy Hook.

Several lawsuits had previously been filed over the shooting.

A December 2022 lawsuit against local and state police, the city, and other school and law enforcement, seeks at least $27 billion and class-action status for survivors. And at least two lawsuits have been filed against Georgia-based gun manufacturer Daniel Defense, which made the AR-style rifle used by the gunman.

Uvalde Department of Justice Report

Earlier this year, the Department of Justice released a nearly 600-page report detailing the ‘cascading failures’ by law enforcement on May 24, 2022.

Nearly 400 law enforcement officials responded to the campus, but waited for 77 minutes before entering the classroom and killing the 18-year-old shooter.

The report talked about the vast array of problems from failed communication and leadership, to the inadequate training and technology used by police. 

A private investigator hired by the city cleared Uvalde city police of missteps.

Austin-based investigator Jesse Prado presented his findings this March.

Prado stated the department did not commit any wrongdoing or violate any policy.

Uvalde School Shooting Victims


19 Robb Elementary students were killed in the shooting.

  • Xavier Javier Lopez, 10
  • Amerie Jo Garza, 10
  • Uziyah Garcia, 8
  • Rojelio Torres, 10
  • Annabell Guadalupe Rodriguez, 10
  • Nevaeh Bravo, 10
  • Makenna Lee Elrod, 10
  • Eliahana 'Elijah Cruz' Torres, 10
  • Eliana 'Ellie' Garcia, 9
  • Alithia Ramirez, 10
  • Jacklyn "Jackie" Cazares, 9
  • Jayce Carmelo Luevanos, 10
  • Jailah Nicole Silguero, 11
  • Jose Flores Jr, 10
  • Alexandria "Lexi" Aniyah Rubio, 10
  • Maite Yuleana Rodriguez, 10
  • Tess "Tessy" Marie Mata, 10
  • Maranda Gail Mathis, 11
  • Layla Salazar, 10

Fourth-grade co-teachers 48-year-old Irma Garcia and 44-year-old Eva Mireles were also killed. Family members said at the time both died trying to protect their students.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.