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Family files claims against US Air Force 1 month after Sutherland Springs shooting

The Ward family and attorneys (SBG Photo)

(WOAI/KABB) -- One month after a gunman opened fire inside the Sutherland Springs Baptist Church, the family of four of the victims has filed claims against the Air Force. The claims were filed on behalf of 5-year-old Ryland Ward, who is still recovering in the hospital, his sisters, Brooke and Emily and his stepmother, Joann -- who were all killed.

Sandy Stokes Ward, the children’s grandmother and Joann’s mother-in-law, says, “I don't try to think about it, because that's not what I'm worried about right now. Main thing my focus is Ryland and him getting better."

While Ryland's family sits by his side every single day in the hospital -- their attorney fights for justice.

“We filed a notice with the Air Force under the Federal Claims Act," said Attorney Kelly Kelly.

The claims allege the U.S. Air Force didn't report the Sutherland Springs gunman was convicted of domestic abuse, escaped from a mental hospital and tried to sneak onto an air base with a weapon.

“Any of those three would have been a disqualifying conviction that would, if reported to the national database, would have prevented him from buying a firearm," Kelly said.

The Air Force has since admitted, they did not report any of that information to the FBI, which they are required to do.

“It makes me hopeful that they will take responsibility and that they will ensure something like this doesn't happen again. This is something that was very easily preventable," Kelly said.

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