A lawsuit filed on behalf of the victims and survivors of the shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, is seeking billions of dollars in damages, citing failures by the local police and school district.
The lawsuit, filed in federal court, names the Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District, the district’s police department, the Uvalde Police Department, the Texas Department of Public Safety and multiple individuals who are members of the respective agencies as defendants. It alleges that the survivors and victims’ families have sustained “emotional and psychological damages as a result of Defendants’ conduct and omissions.” UCISD Police Chief Pedro Arredondo and Robb Elementary School principal Mandy Gutierrez are among the individuals named in the lawsuit.
“What we intend to do (is) help serve this community, and that is to file a $27 billion civil rights lawsuit under our United States Constitution, one-of-a-kind in the whole world,” Charles Bonner, one of the attorneys representing the plaintiffs, told KSAT.
The lawsuit alleges that despite training for school shootings and regulations requiring police officers to disregard their own safety to protect others, it took 77 minutes for responding officers to neutralize the shooter, Bloomberg Law reported.
The lawsuit also cites specific failures at the school, and alleges that despite the ability to create different alarm signals for different emergencies, the administration at Robb Elementary relied on a single signal, “whose frequent use, on account of 50 ‘bailout’ lockdowns in three months, significantly diminished the urgency of response.” The lawsuit describes the school’s security system as “patently inadequate” and also lacking consistent internet and cellphone reception.
“People have a right to life under the 14th Amendment and what we’ve seen here is that the law enforcement agencies have shown a deliberate conscious disregard of the life,” Bonner told KSAT.
Attorneys representing the victims’ families and survivors said that the delayed police response led to increased emotional and physical scarring of their clients, who had to witness the horror inside the school. The lawsuit cites a student class representative who saw his teacher die, and has refused to leave his house since the shooting.
Attorneys in the lawsuit also claim that even after the surviving children were rescued from Robb Elementary, they were given inadequate care. The lawsuit alleges that students who were injured were taken to a hospital on a regular school bus, without any EMTs or adults with medical training on board. When the bus arrived at the hospital “those children who had been wounded had to limp off the bus without assistance.”
The school district did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Bloomberg Law.
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