UVALDE, Texas ( Associated Press) — It should have been the first day of a joyful week for students at Robb Elementary School: the start of summer vacation. Instead, the first two of the 19 children killed in one of its classrooms were remembered at wakes Monday.
The one for 10-year-old Amerie Jo Garza was held at Hillcrest Memorial Funeral Home in Uvalde, Texas, right across from the elementary school where the children, along with two teachers, were shot to death Tuesday before he himself shooter was killed. The wake of another 10-year-old girl, Maite Rodriguez, took place at the other funeral home in town.
For the next two and a half weeks, the residents of this southwestern Texas town will bid farewell to children and their teachers in heartbreaking funeral ceremonies and burials. As family and friends vent their grief, those charged with the investigation will demand answers about how police responded to the shooting, and lawmakers have said they will weigh what can be done to curb the gun violence that is spreading across the country. USA.
Only this week the funerals of 11 children and the teacher Irma Garcia are planned.
On Monday, some of the mourners who attended Amerie’s wake were dressed in shades of lilac or lavender — Amerie’s favorite — at the request of her father, Angel Garza. Many carried flowers, including some purple ones.
The little girl, who loved to draw, had received a cell phone for her 10th birthday. One of her friends told Angel Garza that Amerie tried to use the phone to call the police during the attack on her fourth grade class. .
Among those attending the act of mourning for Amerie were some relatives of Maite. Like many people, they attended both wakes.
Maite’s family wore green shirts with an illustration showing her with angel wings. Before entering the funeral home, they stopped at the ditch to see the metal fence that attacker Salvador Ramos had crashed a pickup truck into before crossing a field and entering the school.
“How did you walk for so long?” asked Juana Magaña, Maite’s aunt.
Hillcrest Funeral Home itself and the shooting will be linked forever. After Ramos crashed the vehicle, two men at the funeral home heard the crash and ran to the crash site. Ramos fired at them, but missed, and both men escaped to safety.
Eliahna “Ellie” Garcia’s funeral will be June 6, the day after what was to be her 10th birthday. Her family had prepared a big party for the occasion at her grandmother’s house the next weekend. She expected to receive gifts related to the Disney movie “Charm”.
“She loved that movie and talked about it a lot,” said her aunt, Siria Arizmendi.
Ellie was quiet even with the family, but she liked to make videos and had already been practicing with her older sister a choreography for her quinceañera party, although it was still five years away, Arizmendi added.