Families Mourn for the Lives Lost in Texas School Massacre


Photo taken by Jae Hong, Australian Associated Press

Lucy B (Year 11), Chief Contributor

Families mourn for the 19 children and 2 Teachers lost in a Texas School Massacre 

The community of Uvalde, Texas has been left in mourning as gun violence prevails for the 30th time in America this year, taking the lives of nineteen school students and two teachers in a primary-aged school.  

For the roughly 600 students who attend Robb Elementary school, the 24th of May was set to be one of the last days of term before the commencement of summer break. But when 18-year-old gunman Salvador Ramos entered the school at 11:40am, everything changed. Ramos, a local and previous student at Uvalde High School, legally purchased two assault rifles and ammunition from a federally licensed gun store four days prior to the attack.  

The incident is still extremely raw and recent for those affected and citizens of Texas and the timeline is still being pieced together by authorities. The constructed sequence of events goes as follows: at 11:28am, the gunman crashed his grandmother’s pick-up truck into a ditch outside the school some 20 minutes before he entered. A teacher who noticed this accident called ‘911’ to alert them of the accident and the armed man near the premises. After exiting his damaged vehicle by 11:30am, the gunman began firing rounds from the last row of the school parking lot, by this time, the police were alerted and actively involved in dealing with the shooter. At 11:33am, Ramos enters the building and barricades himself in classrooms 111 and 112, open firing on the 3rd and 4th graders inside. The gunman is inside the building for over an hour, until 12:50, until he is shot dead by officers. Within these approximate 90 minutes, Salvador Ramos was responsible for taking 21 lives: 19 of these children under the age of 11.  

The demonstrable tragedy of this incident has led to an overwhelming global response with people sympathising for the young teachers and students involved. The family of Irma Garcia, a victim of the massacre, has raised more than $2.7 million on a Go Fund Me page set up in her honour. The local Walgreens in the area has also offered to organise counselling support for those affected and is contributing with local community members to collect donations and aid. Memorials of flowers, photographs and candles have been set up all over Texas, including at Robb Elementary school, to commemorate those who have died.  

Despite the outpour of societal support for those affected by the shooting, it is undeniable that this incident has made issues of debate remerge, such as gun control, mental health support in schools, security policies and police readiness in America. Following the school massacre, the U.S Government has responded to the backlash by increasing the number of security staff on school campuses and restricting access to visitors. As the issue of continued school shootings is discussed in US Parliament, President Joe Biden has addressed the issues of gun control, sombrely stating “We as a nation have to ask when in God’s name are we going to stand up to the gun lobby. When in God’s name do we do what we all know in our gut needs to be done?” Furthermore, house speaker Nancy Pelosi has argued “It is time for all in Congress to heed the will of the American people and join in enacting the House-passed bipartisan, common-sense, life-saving legislation into law.” The Robb Elementary school shooting is the deadliest to occur, only to the Sandy Hook massacre which took the lives of 26 people. While the issues of gun control in America has been in serious discussion because of this incident, let us pay our respects to the innocent lives which were taken by this lone gunman, and live graciously knowing that tragedies such as this do not occur within our community.