The US Department of Justice on Wednesday announced it had reached an “agreement in principle” to settle claims from the November 2017 mass shooting at a Sutherland Springs, Texas, church for $144.5 million, according to a news release.
A federal court in 2021 ruled the US government was liable for damages caused by the shooting, in which 26 people were killed and 22 others wounded. The Air Force, a judge concluded, failed to exercise reasonable care when it didn’t submit the shooter’s criminal history to the FBI’s background check system, which increased the risk of physical harm to the general public.
A court must still approve some parts of the settlements, the DOJ release said.
“No words or amount of money can diminish the immense tragedy of the mass shooting in Sutherland Springs,” Associate Attorney General Vanita Gupta said. “Today’s announcement brings the litigation to a close, ending a painful chapter for the victims of this unthinkable crime.”
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