The federal government is offering a total of $31 million to victims of the 2017 church shooting in Sutherland Springs, Texas and their families, nearly all of whom are white, which is less than 10 percent of the $400 million the families have asked for.
Some of the plaintiffs are being offered only $50,000, reports KETK FOX 5. Some 26 people died in the shootings and 22 were wounded.
Last month, the federal government offered a total of $88 million to victims of the 2015 mass shooting in South Carolina and their families. All the victims were black, and each person was awarded $5 to $7 million depending on how the calamity affected them.
Closing arguments began on Nov. 29 to determine compensation in the Sutherland Springs incident, after a federal judge determined in July that since the gunman had threatened mass violence while he was in the Air Force, the government was 60 percent liable for not heading off the atrocity. Victims and families have also said the killings could have been prevented if the Air Force had properly dealt with the threat.
The federal government’s argument for only offering $31 million is based on the Federal Tort Claims Act, which is meant for compensation, not punitive rewards. Government lawyers say the Sutherland Springs victims’ argument that victims and families should get more money since more people were killed in the Texas shooting would be punitive rather than compensatory.
The victims and families are asking for more due to the mental anguish they’ve experienced.
It is not known when the judge will rule.