Home Kid toys As Uvalde’s funeral continues, heartbreaking details emerge from the terror inside Robb Elementary

As Uvalde’s funeral continues, heartbreaking details emerge from the terror inside Robb Elementary

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By Travis Caldwell, CNN

Under warm, blue skies in South Texas, a park fountain in a sun-drenched town square is the centerpiece of a growing memorial honoring those lost in the deadliest mass shooting at school on American soil in almost ten years.

Hundreds of bouquets of flowers surround the fountain, stacked alongside toys, stuffed animals, candles and letters in memory of the 21 people killed at Robb Elementary in Uvalde last week. Framed posters show smiling faces, set against walls covered in drawn hearts and chalked names.

On a path leading to the square, visitors slowly pass a row of crosses, stopping to pray or reflect on the devastating tragedy. Each cross – several feet tall and draped in flowers, balloons and memorial messages – bears the name of a person killed.

Nineteen children and two teachers lost their lives after an 18-year-old gunman entered their class and opened fire. Now families and friends have started burying their loved ones.

Ryan Ramirez, father of Alithia Ramirez, said she waited nearly 12 hours before learning she had been killed. He described his 10-year-old daughter as “very kind and kind”.

“She was right there for anyone who needed anything. And that was one thing we all loved about her,” he told CNN’s Anderson Cooper on Tuesday.

Alithia “loved to draw,” her father said, and when he met President Joe Biden during his visit to Uvalde on Sunday, Biden told him he would have one of Alithia’s drawings exhibited at the White House. .

She “always had a pencil in her hand, just to go to town,” Ramirez said.

As the community mourns, more details appear about the shooting and how those inside reacted to the terror.

Robb Elementary educator Nicole Ogburn said she had just made a film for her students when she saw someone who carries a weapon in front of his classroom window.

“I just looked out the window and saw this guy with a gun approaching. And I just said to my class, get on the floor, get on the floor, go to the corner”, Ogburn told CNN affiliates KABB/WOAI.

“I kept hearing gunshots and I kept praying, ‘God, please don’t let him into my room, please don’t let him come into this room’, and for some reason he didn’t.”

A timeline provided by the Texas Department of Public Safety revealed that multiple 911 phone calls were made from the classrooms where the gunman unleashed his deadly assault, with children begging the police to intervene.

Three people injured by the shooter remained hospitalized Tuesday at San Antonio University Hospital. The 66-year-old shooter’s grandmother, who was shot in the head before the attack on the school, is in good condition; a 9-year-old girl is in good condition; and a 10-year-old girl is in serious condition, the hospital said.

Police chief sworn in as member of city council

Meanwhile, Pete Arredondo, the Uvalde School District Police Chief whom officials identified last week as the incident commander in the shooting, has been sworn as a member of the city council on Tuesday after being elected to the position last month.

Arredondo has faces criticism for the decision to have officers stationed in the hallway outside the classrooms where the shooting took place, waiting more than an hour to respond before a Border Patrol tactical team entered the piece and only kills the shooter.

Although Texas Department of Public Safety Director Steven McCraw did not identify Arredondo by name, he said on Friday that the chief made the “bad decision” not to engage sooner with the shooter.

Uvalde Mayor Don McLaughlin said no swearing-in ceremony was held on Tuesday, “out of respect for the families who buried their children today and who plan to bury their children in the next days”.

The mayor had indicated on Monday that the extraordinary municipal council “will not take place as planned,” adding that “Tuesday we focus on our families who have lost loved ones.”

The Department of Justice announced on Sunday that it conduct an examination of law enforcement’s response to the shooting at the request of the mayor.

More resources are coming in, depending on the state

Attention being directed to the law enforcement responseTexas officials say they are also working to meet current needs on the ground.

To expedite the allocation of state and local resources, Governor Greg Abbott declared a state of disaster for Uvalde on Tuesday, according to a press release from the governor’s office.

“The declaration of disaster will expedite all state and local resources available to assist the community of Uvalde, as well as the suspension of regulations that would prevent, impede or delay action necessary to address the aftermath of the tragic shooting,” the statement read. .

“The community of Uvalde was devastated by last week’s senseless act of violence at Robb Elementary School and should have no difficulty receiving the support needed to heal,” Abbott said.

Further help came from acts of service by volunteers from out of town.

Patrick Johnson, 58, told CNN he was so overcome with grief after hearing about the shooting that he drove seven hours from Harleton, Texas, to Uvalde, filling his trunk with children’s toys from a Walmart to pass out in the town square.

For three days, children were invited to choose any toy from a table filled with stuffed animals, toy cars and soccer balls.

“When you lose something, especially as a kid, you need something else to hold on to,” Johnson said. “It brings joy to children, so it brings joy to me.”

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CNN’s Omar Jimenez, Andy Rose, Christina Maxouris, Alaa Elassar, Eric Levenson, Raja Razek, Joe Sutton, Jeremy Grisham and Virginia Langmaid contributed to this report.