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The Air Force has been ordered to pay over $230 million to the survivors and families of victims of a 2017 mass shooting in Texas

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  • The Air Force was ordered to pay $230 million to the victims of a 2017 shooting in Sutherland Springs, Texas.
  • A judge found that the Air Force failed to properly report shooter Devin Patrick Kelley’s domestic violence conviction. 
  • That made it possible for Kelley to purchase the firearms used in the shooting. 

On Monday, a judge ordered the US Air Force to pay more than $230 million to the survivors and families of the victims of a 2017 mass shooting in Sutherland Springs, Texas.

Last July, District Judge Xavier Rodriguez ruled the Air Force 60% responsible for the deaths and injuries sustained in the shooting after it failed to report gunman Devin Patrick Kelley’s criminal history to the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Doing so would have prevented him from purchasing the firearms used in the shooting.

In a 185-page ruling released Monday, Rodriguez wrote that the survivors and relatives had sought compensation for the “pain and suffering, mental anguish, disfigurement, impairment, and loss of companionship” they endured due to the shooting, which left 26 people dead and another 22 wounded.

The shooting took place on November 5, 2017, at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs. Dressed in tactical gear and armed with a semiautomatic rifle, Kelley entered the church while a Sunday service was in session and began firing at the congregation. 

Following a brief car chase, law-enforcement officials found the 26-year-old dead inside his vehicle on the side of the road. Rodriguez’s ruling on Monday stated that Kelley had died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Kelley’s victims were between 18 months to 72 years old. Multiple news outlets dubbed the incident the worst mass shooting in Texas’ history.

Devin Patrick Kelley enlisted in the Air Force in 2010 and was assigned a role in logistics at Holloman Air Force Base in New Mexico.

But in 2012, Kelley was convicted of assaulting his then-wife and stepson and sentenced to a year in military prison.

However, the Air Force failed to update the FBI’s Criminal Justice Information Services Division of Kelley’s conviction. Because of that, he was able to clear the mandatory background checks needed to buy firearms — even after being discharged from the Air Force in 2014.

The Air Force admitted the day after the shooting that it should have reported Kelley’s conviction to the FBI.

Around 80 people were named as recipients of the $230 million payout.

“Ultimately, there is no satisfying way to determine the worth of these families’ pain,” Rodriguez wrote in his ruling released on Monday, noting that the case was “unprecedented in size and scope.”

Courthouse News Service reported that Department of Justice attorneys representing the Air Force had in November offered the survivors and relatives of those killed $31.8 million. This was less than 10% of the amount that families in the case were asking for, said the report.

Courtesy By INSIDER

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