SAN ANTONIO (AP) — The U.S. Air Force is to pay more than $230 million in damages to survivors and families of victims of a 2017 Texas church massacre for failing to report a conviction that allegedly could have prevented the shooter from legally purchasing the weapon used in the shooting, a federal judge ruled Monday.
More than two dozen people were killed when Devin Patrick Kelley opened fire during a Sunday service at First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs. Kelley, who died of an apparently self-inflicted gunshot wound after being shot and chased by two men who heard the gunshots at the church, had served in the Air Force before the attack .
U.S. District Judge Xavier Rodriguez had ruled in July that the Air Force was “60% responsible” for the attack because it failed to submit Kelley’s assault conviction during his time in the air force. Air Force to a national database.
Lawyers for survivors and relatives of those killed had asked for $418 million, while the Justice Department offered $31.8 million.
The approximately 80 claimants include relatives of those killed and 21 survivors and their families. Authorities put the official death toll at 26 because one of the 25 people killed was pregnant.
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