Texas mourns the dead of its children, anger mounts in the United States – 26/05/2022 at 08:06


The mother of Alicia Rodriguez, a schoolgirl killed in the Ovaldi, Texas school massacre, attends a vigil to commemorate the victims on May 25, 2022 (AFP/Chandan Khanna)

Hundreds of people gathered in grief to mourn the nineteen children and teachers who were victims of a horrific massacre at their school in Ovaldi, Texas, by an 18-year-old using a legally purchased assault rifle.

The tragedy, which raises the eternal question of gun control in the United States, has stunned this small town of 16,000, mostly Hispanic, with pain. A thousand people gathered Wednesday night for a vigil at the Rodeo Hall in Ovaldi.

“I’m heartbroken,” cried Ryan Ramirez, who lost his 10-year-old daughter Alethia in the shooting. For his part, his wife Jessica was crying softly, their other daughter in her arms.

– ‘You will never be happy again’ –

“She was a very good artist” and yearning for greatness, Ramirez says, as he flips through a stack of Alicia’s colorful paintings 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.”

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.”

– Disturbing details –

Disturbing details have continued to emerge since the killings.

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 mother of Alicia Rodriguez, a schoolgirl killed in the Ovaldi school massacre, Texas, shows her daughter's drawings on May 25, 2022 (AFP/Chandan Khanna)

The mother of Alicia Rodriguez, a schoolgirl killed in the Ovaldi school massacre, Texas, shows her daughter’s drawings on May 25, 2022 (AFP/Chandan Khanna)

The killer had earlier announced on Facebook his intention to attack his grandmother who, despite her serious injury, managed to alert the police.

Then he sent a new message to say 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.

Security forces tried to prevent him from entering the school, but after an exchange of fire he managed to barricade himself in a classroom. In addition to the 21 dead, the tragedy left 17 wounded.

In the United States, school shootings are a recurring scourge that successive governments have so far been unable to eradicate.

Map locating Ovaldi in Texas, US, where an 18-year-old opened fire on an elementary school on May 24, killing dozens of students and adults (AFP/)

Map locating Ovaldi in Texas, US, where an 18-year-old opened fire on an elementary school on May 24, killing dozens of students and adults (AFP/)

Controversy over gun regulation in the country is almost on hold, given the lack of hope that Congress will pass an ambitious national law on the issue.

“I am sad and angry at our government for not doing enough to limit access to guns,” Uvalde resident Rosie Pointel said after Wednesday’s service. “We’ve been through this many times, and nothing gets done,” asserts this fifty-year-old.

– “predictable” –

A sign of nervousness about the topic, Governor Greg Abbott’s press conference, a Republican, was interrupted by his opponent, Beto O’Rourke, who accused him of enjoying his share of “responsibility.”

“You say it was unexpected, it was completely predictable from the moment I decided to do nothing,” said the Texas Democrat.

Commemoration of the victims of the Ovaldi massacre, Texas, on May 25, 2022 (AFP/CHANDAN KHANNA)

Commemoration of the victims of the Ovaldi massacre, Texas, on May 25, 2022 (AFP/CHANDAN KHANNA)

President Joe Biden announced Wednesday that he will visit this country with his wife “in the coming days.”

The day before, he delivered an emotional speech from the White House, calling for “turning pain into action.”

He said, “When, for God’s sake, shall we face the gun lobby?”

The pro-gun lobby, the NRA, absolved itself of all responsibility on Wednesday, denouncing the “action of an isolated and troubled criminal.”

“I consider this person the ultimate evil,” Abbott said, expressing a common position among US Republicans that unlimited access to guns is not the cause of the epidemic, the violence that hits the country.

This is one of the worst killings in recent years in the United States.

A young girl is pictured at a makeshift memorial outside Robb Elementary School in Ovaldi, Texas on May 25, 2022 (AFP/Chandan Khanna)

A young girl is pictured at a makeshift memorial outside Robb Elementary School in Ovaldi, Texas on May 25, 2022 (AFP/Chandan Khanna)

The young killer, of American nationality, recently purchased two assault rifles, 375 rounds, just after his eighteenth birthday.

The AR-15, a highly lethal weapon, is already known to have been used in other high-profile shootings, such as the 2018 shooting at a high school in Parkland, Florida, which left 17 people dead, the majority of them teens.

Santos Valdez, a former friend of the shooter, told The Washington Post that Salvador Ramos was bullied as a child due to a speech impediment and once cut his face “just for fun.”

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