UVALDE, Texas—Parents and children gripped each other a little tighter on Tuesday afternoon, knowing they were the lucky ones.
Mayor of Uvalde Don McLaughlin confirmed at 10:30 p.m. local time that 19 children and two adults are confirmed dead in the mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas.
Joe Daniel, a Uvalde resident who lives near the school, said his 8-year-old daughter was traumatized after the gunman had tried to get into her classroom, but the teacher had locked the door.
Construction workers came racing into his house as they heard gunfire next door. Salvadore Romas allegedly shot his grandmother before driving toward the school, then entering the campus and opening fire. Law enforcement officers shot Romas.
“Everybody’s just in shock,” said Adrian Ramirez.
Another man said his cousin’s child is still missing—they’d already called all the hospitals from Uvalde to San Antonio, and now they feared the worst.
It’s a small community and word travels fast. One man showed The Epoch Times the Facebook page of one of the teachers who was shot. He knows her best friend.
“Every town’s got its criminals, I didn’t think ours had one of those,” he said.
Moses, a retired truck driver who declined to give his surname, said he’d lived across the street from Romas’s grandmother all his life.
“I’d known her all my life. I can’t believe this happened,” he told The Epoch Times. Moses said she was “real hardworking, real nice. She kept her yard and her house really clean.”
Moses’s great-grandson was at Robb Elementary during the shooting, but he wasn’t injured. “But some who didn’t make it—I know their parents, their grandparents,” said Moses.
“It’s shocking. It’s hard to believe. The part I don’t understand is—maybe he and his grandma got into it, but what have little kids got to do with it?”
“Nothing like that should ever happen.”