OAN Geraldyn Berry
UPDATED 4:57 PM – Wednesday, April 5, 2023
The families of the victims of the 2017 mass shooting that occurred in Sutherland Springs, Texas, have tentatively achieved a settlement of $144.5 million, according to the Department of Justice (DOJ).
The announcement, according to Associate Attorney General Vanita Gupta, ends the legal dispute, but “no words or amount of money can diminish the immense tragedy of the Sutherland Springs mass shooting.”
Due to the failure of the government to report the shooter’s past of domestic violence to the background check system, a district judge initially determined that the government bore 60% of the blame for the attack. The judge ruled that the families were due $230 million by the government.
When the preliminary agreement from Wednesday is completed, it will be the third time that the American government has compensated the families of victims following a mass shooting. Both the 2015 killing at a Charleston, South Carolina, church and the 2018 shooting at a high school in Parkland, Florida, have received government compensation.
25 people were killed in the shooting, including a pregnant woman, which happened in a Baptist church at Sutherland Springs. Official estimates place the death toll at 26, making it the state’s deadliest mass shooting in history.
The gunman, Devin Patrick Kelley, was an Air Force veteran who had a past of domestic violence that should have been flagged in the background system to prevent him from purchasing a weapon. This led to a lawsuit, filed by the families of those killed, made against the federal government. However, The material was never added to the database by the Air Force.
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