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Uvalde school shooting victims’ funerals begin

May 31, 2022


The funerals for the 19 students and two teachers killed in last week’s school shooting in Uvalde, Texas began Monday. 10-year-old Amerie Jo Garza was laid to rest at Hillcrest Memorial Funeral Home, the one right across the street from Robb Elementary School. Video from that funeral is included above. A visitation for another 10-year-old, Maite Rodriguez, was held at the town’s other funeral home.

“It’s real pretty… it’s closed casket, but there’s pictures of her everywhere,” said former Uvalde resident Esther Rubio, who drove in from San Antonio for Garza’s funeral. The funerals came at what was supposed to be a joyous time, with summer break beginning for students.

“The kids are on my mind today because of what happened in Uvalde, Texas,” Gov. Greg Abbott (R) said at a Memorial Day celebration Monday. “There are kids who worked during the course of the school year, waiting to get out of the school year, so that they can have fun in the summertime. Kids who are not having fun. Parents who lost the joy of their life.”

Funerals for the Uvalde school shooting victims are set to continue over the next two-and-a-half weeks. This week alone, funerals are planned for 11 children and teacher Irma Garcia.

As the community remembers those lost, the heat for a delayed police response to the shooting has fallen on Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District Police Chief Pete Arredondo. Last week, the director of state police said Arredondo made the “wrong decision” not to breach a classroom inside the school sooner.

“The on-scene commander considered a barricaded subject and that there was time and there were no more children at risk,” Texas Department of Public Safety Director Steven McCraw said Friday. “Based upon the information we have there were children in that classroom that were at risk and it was, in fact, still an active shooter situation and not a barricaded subject.”

Arredondo was set to be sworn in Tuesday to his new spot on the City Council after being elected earlier this month. However in a Monday statement, Mayor Don McLaughlin said the city council meeting where that was supposed to happen “will not take place as scheduled.” It wasn’t immediately clear whether the swearing-in would happen privately or at a later date.

Esther Rubio, Former Uvalde resident: “When I was reading their obituaries, I knew some of the grandparents. I used to work here at a finance company. Some of them were my customers, you know.”

“Like I said, this is our hometown. We were both born and raised here, you know. We needed to come and pay our respects.”

REPORTER: “What was it like in there? Flowers? Teddy bears?”

ESTHER RUBNIO: “Oh, yes, pictures. You know, it’s a beautiful in there really. It’s real pretty. But of course, you can’t see her. It’s closed casket, so. But there’s pictures of her everywhere.”