Sep 29, 2022 - World

Families of Uvalde shooting survivors sue officials, school district, gun makers

A memorial outside of Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, is seen Sept. 6 as students returned for the new school year. Photo: Pedro Salazar/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

The families of three children who survived the Uvalde, Texas, school shooting last spring filed the first lawsuit in a federal court against a number of entities, including the school district, law enforcement officials and gun makers.

Driving the news: The complaint filed in Texas’ Western District Court alleges that negligence, recklessness and failures contributed to the shooting that left 19 children and two adults dead on May 24 after an 18-year-old gunman began firing into classrooms at Robb Elementary School.

  • The suit seeks damages on behalf of three children, including one who was wounded in the attack.

Details: Ten defendants are named in the suit, including the city of Uvalde and the local school district.

  • Also named are Pete Arredondo, the school district's police chief during the shooting who has since been fired, along with Mariano Pargas, the acting Uvalde police chief, who has since been placed on leave.
  • Mandy Gutierrez, the school’s principal who was placed on a three-day administrative leave, was also named. The suit alleges she failed to notify teachers of the gunman’s presence through the school’s intercom.
  • The defendants also include gun manufacturer Daniel Defense LLC, Firequest International Inc., which designed the accessory trigger system used by the gunman, and Oasis Outback where he got his firearms.
  • Additionally, the suit names Motorola Solutions Inc., alleging that its radio communication devices used by first responders during the shooting failed, and Schneider Electric USA Inc., which either made or installed the schools' doors that allegedly failed to lock.

The defendants could not immediately be reached for comment.

What they're saying: "The horrors of May 24, 2022, were only possible because so many in positions of power were negligent, careless and reckless," family attorney Stephanie B. Sherman said Thursday in a statement

  • "It is beyond shameful that Daniel Defense deliberately markets military-grade weapons to untrained civilians and young adult males, a demographic responsible for the most mass shootings."
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