Guns

DOJ reaches $144M settlement in Texas church shooting that killed 26

A federal district court in Texas determined that the U.S. was responsible for damages as a result of the shooting.

DOJ reaches $144M settlement in Texas church shooting that killed 26
Eric Gay / AP

The Justice Department and survivors of a deadly Texas church mass shooting have reached a tentative $144.5 settlement.

26 people were killed and 22 others were injured when a gunman burst into the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs in 2017. The shooter died by suicide as two men chased him.

In 2021, a federal district court in Texas determined that the U.S. was responsible for the shooting's damages and the Air Force was "60% liable" for not submitting the gunman's assault conviction into the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, which would have kept the gunman from purchasing guns from a federally licensed firearms dealer.

President Joe Biden

Biden issues order to strengthen gun background checks

Biden has been emboldened by the midterms after his regular talk of gun control didn't result in massive losses, and he's expected to push further.

LEARN MORE

"No words or amount of money can diminish the immense tragedy of the mass shooting in Sutherland Springs," said Associate Attorney General Vanita Gupta in a press release by the DOJ. "Today‚Äôs announcement brings the litigation to a close, ending a painful chapter for the victims of this unthinkable crime."

Although the U.S. Attorney's Office still needs to approve the agreement, the lawsuit, which was initiated in 2018, would be resolved with the settlement.