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Victim families reach settlement with Uvalde over 2022 school shooting

Families of the victims killed in the 2022 Uvalde, Texas, school shooting said Wednesday they have settled their lawsuit with the City of Uvalde. Felix and Kimberly Rubio hold a picture of their 10-year-old daughter, Alexandria, a victim of the Robb Elementary School shooting, during a House committee hearing on the practices and profits of gun manufacturers at the U.S. Capitol July 27, 2022. File Photo by Bonnie Cash/UPI
Families of the victims killed in the 2022 Uvalde, Texas, school shooting said Wednesday they have settled their lawsuit with the City of Uvalde. Felix and Kimberly Rubio hold a picture of their 10-year-old daughter, Alexandria, a victim of the Robb Elementary School shooting, during a House committee hearing on the practices and profits of gun manufacturers at the U.S. Capitol July 27, 2022. File Photo by Bonnie Cash/UPI | License Photo

May 22 (UPI) -- Uvalde, Texas, has reached a settlement with 17 families of children killed and 2 families of those wounded by a gunman at Robb Elementary School in 2022. The city will pay $2 million and create a permanent memorial.

Nineteen children and two teachers were killed in the May 24, 2022, shooting.

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Lawyers for the families said the settlement included a promise to overhaul the city police department.

The suit against Uvalde isn't the only one families of the victims are pursuing.

A new suit has been filed by the families against the Texas Department of Public Safety and 92 officers for the failure of police officers to engage the gunman for 77 minutes after arriving at the scene.

Josh Koskoff, an attorney for the families, said in a statement, "For 77 minutes, 26 members of the Uvalde Police Department failed to confront an 18-year-old kid armed with an AR-15, and no disciplinary action has ever been taken -- no firings, no demotions, no transparency -- and the families remain eager for that to change. But the healing process must begin, and the commitments made today by the city, in particular, are a step in that critical process."

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The mother and aunt of two of the child victims, Veronia Luevanos, said, "This settlement reflects a good-faith effort, particularly by the City of Uvalde, to begin rebuilding trust in the systems that failed to protect us."

She said for two long years the families languished in pain without any accountability from law enforcement agencies and officers.

In the settlement with the city, the families agreed to accept the $2 million limit on the city's insurance policy because seeking more money would have resulted in a city bankruptcy.

The City of Uvalde committed to establishing a May 24 annual Day of Remembrance of the tragedy and also will implement a new "fitness for duty" standard that will be developed with the U.S. Department of Justice.

The families have also named the Uvalde school district and Uvalde county district attorney Christina Mitchell in lawsuits for the way the shooting was handled.

A Justice Department report that reviewed law enforcement response confirmed failures at every level contributed to the inaction of police for over an hour at the scene of the killings.

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