AUSTIN (KXAN) – A tentative agreement to settle civil cases related to a mass shooting at a Texas church in 2017 was reached Wednesday, according to the U.S. Department of Justice. Twenty-six people were killed and 22 injured in the November 2017 shooting at First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs, Texas, which is just west of San Antonio.
“The tentative settlements will resolve claims by more than 75 plaintiffs,” according to the DOJ.
The plaintiffs’ claims alleged that the Air Force was “negligent” when it did not provide information to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, or NICS, about the shooter “that would have prevented him from purchasing guns from a federally licensed firearms dealer,” the announcement from the DOJ said.
Last year, U.S. District Judge Xavier Rodriguez ordered the federal government to pay nearly $230 million to the victims and victims’ family members. The DOJ later filed an appeal looking to overturn that ruling.
According to an announcement from National Trial Law, an Austin-based law firm, the agreement, if approved by the Attorney General, would end the Government’s appeal of the ruling, which said “the United States is responsible for stopping mass shootings by following existing laws related to the firearm background check system.”
This tentative settlement would resolve the pending appeals, the DOJ’s announcement said.