San Antonio — A family that survived the Sutherland Springs church massacre filed a lawsuit against the Department of Defense and the United States Air Force, accusing the federal agencies of negligence.
Margarette Vidal and her children Monica Shabbir, Robert Vidal, and Ramiro Vidal Jr. are plaintiffs in the formal complaint against the federal agencies filed on Wednesday.
The lawsuit claims the Air Force's omission of shooter Devin Kelley's violent history, commitment into a mental health facility, and former jail time served was negligent and that the agency could've possibly prevented the November 5 shooting if the information was reported.
"Federal Law creates a mandatory, non-delegable duty for the Air Force to report a conviction for domestic violence, incarceration for a crime punishable by more than one year, and mental institution commitment." the complaint reads.
See the full complaint below.
The shooter had a lengthy criminal history.
Documents obtained by KENS 5 reveal that Kelley spent time in a mental institution and had made death threats before.
The Comal County Sheriff’s Office also said they were working on a sexual assault case involving Kelley until he moved out of state. Sheriff Mark Reynolds said the case hadn’t been touched since October 2013 and that it stalled because the suspect moved to Colorado.
The Vidal family's lawsuit claims the Air Force failed to submit any of Kelley's violent past in addition to fingerprint data to the FBI's criminal background check database.
Margarette Vidal was shot four times in the church shooting.
She's seeking damages for past and futures physical pain and suffering, mental anguish, medical, healthcare, attendant cares expenses, physical impairment, physical disfigurement, lost income and earning capacity, out of pocket expenses, and other monetary damages.
The United States has six months to present their claims in a final diposition.
A family that lost nine of its members to the shooting filed an almost identical lawsuit against the federal government in June.
Another family that lost three members to the shooting sued Academy Sports and Outdoors for selling Kelley the firearm while not following current gun-control laws.