UVALDE, Texas — Attorneys hand-delivered a $27 billion lawsuit related to the shooting at Robb Elementary to Uvalde officials Wednesday.
So far, the class-action suit does not involve immediate relatives of the 21 people who died on May 24. Instead, the plaintiffs are mostly parents of children who were on campus during the shooting, away from the classrooms the gunman attacked.
A bus driver and cafeteria worker have also signed onto the suit. Attorneys indicated they'll likely take on more clients soon.
The plaintiffs named specific law enforcement officials who responded to the incident, along with DPS head Steve McCraw. They're also suing the school district and former UCISD police chief Pete Arredondo.
The lawsuit states that surviving children experience nightmares, severe anxiety, emotional changes, anger, separation anxiety and thoughts of suicide.
Attorneys say one child named in the suit obsessively ties strings to doorknobs, hoping to re-enforce them. The filing says another child becomes emotional when she leaves friends, worried she won't again see them.
The suit says a number of children have developed fear of darkness, refuse to close doors, and experience nighttime incontinence.
In all, nearly 30 children are named in the suit.
"They're totally changed from what they were on May 23, the day before this incident," attorney Charles Bonner said. "They're just suffering and in misery."
The suit blames the school district and various lawmen for alleged failures before, during, and after the shooting.
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Lawyers describe the police response to the tragedy as an "uncoordinated travesty of inaction that made certain the death of the young children and their teachers, kept treatment from some who would have survived otherwise, and added to the physical injuries and emotional suffering that will forever follow those who were impacted."
Attorneys filed a second, $6 billion suit against gunmaker Daniel Defense and the Oasis Outback, a local store where the shooter picked up the weapon he used during the assault.
Plaintiffs claim Daniel Defense markets its weapons to young people using advertisements that liken the manufacturer's guns to military-grade weapons.
Bonner pointed to a specific Daniel Defense ad posted on social media 10 days prior to the shooting, depicting a young child holding an AR-15 style gun.
In addition to the award, plaintiffs ask a judge to force Daniel Defense to change its marketing strategy.
The suit also alleges Oasis Outback employees missed "blatantly obvious red flags" about the 18-year-old shooter.
On Wednesday afternoon, Bonner held a news conference.
He said he met with a room full of parents and children on Tuesday night, hearing from kids "afraid to leave home."
"The parents are concerned with who is going to be next...it's not a matter of if...it's only a matter of when and to whom it's going to happen," Bonner said. Now, experts are getting involved, saying these children's brains have been altered. "Now, they need therapy."
Parents reportedly want to see changes with law enforcement so everyone can feel safe. Survivors are also demanding policy changes in the school system as well.
The lawsuit criticizes the actions of Uvalde CISD, the Texas Department of Public Safety, San Antonio Police Department's SWAT unit, Uvalde's Sheriff's office, and Border Patrol saying they "fundamentally strayed from conducting themselves in conformity with what they knew to be the well-established protocols and standards for responding to an active shooter." The class action lawsuit also places blame on the gun manufacturer and seller, Daniel Defense.
"It's happening again and again and again...why? Because they don't value our childrens' lives," Bonner said. "It's about accountability...this lawsuit is going to demand accountability and systemic policy changes."
The lawsuit lists several defendants including both organizations and individuals involved in the shooting response.
Those parties are listed in the filings, which are available to view below: