Uvalde Families Reach Settlement With City, Sue Texas Cops Over Alleged Response Failures

The families of victims of the 2022 Robb Elementary School shooting have reached a $2 million settlement with the City of Uvalde and filed a new lawsuit against Texas law enforcement officers over the massacre.

The settlement damages, per a statement shared with Rolling Stone, will be distributed to the families of 17 children killed, as well as the families of two children who were wounded (in total, 19 students were killed, along with two teachers). The agreement also includes several items aimed at improving the Uvalde police force and helping the community heal.

As part of the settlement, Uvalde officials said they would work to hire more qualified police officers, and implement new training procedures as well as a “fitness for duty” standard. The city said it would also fund a permanent memorial for the victims, provide mental health services for survivors and families, and designate May 24, the day of the shooting, as an official day of remembrance. 

The $2 million settlement notably avoids a lawsuit, which the plaintiffs acknowledged could’ve been a long and expensive ordeal that might’ve bankrupted the city (“something that none of the families were interested in as they look for the community to heal” a statement announcing the settlement noted). 

Veronica Luevanos, whose daughter Jailah and nephew Jayce died in the shooting, said, “For two long years, we have languished in pain and without any accountability from the law enforcement agencies and officers who allowed our families to be destroyed that day. This settlement reflects a first good faith effort, particularly by the City of Uvalde, to begin rebuilding trust in the systems that failed to protect us.”

The response of law enforcement officials to the 2022 massacre has been described as a major failure following investigations by both the Department of Justice and the Texas House of Representatives. Officials infamously waited outside Robb Elementary for over an hour before finally entering and confronting the gunman, who was killed inside a classroom. 

As such, the new lawsuit against 92 Texas Department of Public Safety officers accuses the officers of not doing enough to stop the gunman during the massacre. “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,” said Josh Koskoff, a lawyer for the families.

The lawsuit also names as defendants the Uvalde School District and several employees, including the principal and school district police chief at the time of the shooting. The families have alleged the school’s lockdown procedures, such as turning off the lights and locking the doors, exacerbated the damage as it left them “fully reliant on law enforcement to respond.” 


Koskoff added that the families are planning to bring a lawsuit against the federal government, as over 150 federal officers were present during the shooting, as well. 

“Justice and accountability has always been a main concern — we’ve been let down so many times,” said Javier Cazares, whose 9-year-old daughter, Jackie, was one of the victims (via ABC News). “The time has come to do the right thing.”