Alethia, Eliana, Xavier .. Families of Texas shooting victims mourn their children

Salvador Ramos, an 18-year-old school dropout, fired a semi-automatic rifle at an elementary school, killing two teachers before they were killed by police.

In Uvald, sadness is repeatedly mixed with incomprehension and anger. Two days after 21 people, including 19 children, were killed in a shooting at Robb Elementary School by an 18-year-old maniac with a legally purchased assault rifle, this town west of San Antonio, Texas, is somehow trying to heal his wounds. .

The tragedy, which raises the eternal question about gun control in the United States, has plunged Ovaldi’s 16,000 residents, most of whom are Hispanic, into pain. A thousand people gathered Wednesday night for a vigil in the collegiate rodeo hall.

“She was a cute little girl”

Among them is Ryan Ramirez, who lost his 10-year-old daughter Alethia in the murders and says he is “sad.” “She was a very good artist” and yearns for greatness, he says as he flips through a stack of Alethia’s color plates and Christmas cards she drew for her mother. “My daughter wished everyone affected would be strong, and stay together. That’s what we’re trying to do.”

In front of the cameras, Aunt Eliana, another victim who is also 10 years old, has great difficulty holding back her tears at the mention of her niece.

She remembers, crying: “She was very happy and very sociable, she loved to dance, sing and play sports. She was very important in the family, she was appreciated by everyone. She was a kind little girl.”

Esmeralda Bravo, for her part, holds a picture of Nabea, her late granddaughter. “There is no explanation,” she said. “She was a good little girl, very shy and very beautiful. (…) Having the support of the community means a lot to me, but I would prefer my little girl to be here by my side.”

Angel Garza, whose daughter Amiri Jo celebrated her 10th birthday, wrote on Facebook: “My little love now flies high in the sky with angels on top.”

“I love you, Prince Joe,” he added. “I will never be happy again or I will never be the same as before.”

“We Didn’t Know It Was Goodbye”

The list of tragic victims seems endless. nearby Washington Postthe parents of Xavier Lopez, who just hours before his death had received an award for his good school results, remembered a child “funny, never serious, always with a smile.”

“That smile, I will never forget it,” assures her mother, Felicia Martinez.

Manny Renfrew, Azia Garcia’s grandfather, recalled to CNN that he was a “full of life” child, “the most beautiful boy I’ve ever known.”

“We started throwing the ball together and I was teaching him passing patterns,” he said. “What a fast little boy.”

Felix and Kimberly Rubio, Lexi’s parents, just celebrated the good results of their daughter, who was part of the school’s honor roll, before she was murdered.

“We told her we loved her and were going to pick her up after school. We didn’t know it was farewell. She was cute, sweet and enjoying life. She was going to be a softball star and have a bright future, both in sports and at school. Please let the world know we miss our child.”

The families of the missing adults, Eva Meirelles and Irma Garcia, responded, confirming that these two teachers tried, to the end, to protect the children.

“crazy”

The investigation was aimed at understanding the course and circumstances of the killing, promising to be prolonged. Speaking to reporters, Texas Governor Greg Abbott revealed that the killer, Salvador Ramos, who was killed by police, shot his 66-year-old grandmother in the face before heading to Rob Elementary School.

The governor said the young man had no criminal record as a minor or known psychological problems to local health services, calling him “crazy.” The killer had earlier announced on Facebook his intention to attack his grandmother who, despite her serious injury, managed to alert the police.

Then send a new message saying “he did it”. Then, at least 15 minutes before the massacre, the third target was to announce that his next target was a school. He went there wearing a flak jacket and an AR-15, a civilian version of a military assault rifle designed to kill as many people as possible in record time.

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