Texas shooting: between sadness and incomprehension, Uvalde mourns his 21 victims

UVALDE, Texas | Amid tears and hugs, the emotion was palpable in front of Robb primary school in the small town of Uvalde on Wednesday, which mourns its victims after the tragedy that left 21 dead, noted The newspaper.

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“I grew up in front of the elementary school, I studied at this school, my children and my grandchildren study at this school, and I can’t believe what happened,” says Zinna Aguilera, 61, found in front of the establishment that was the scene of another deadly shooting. .

Zinna Aguilera, 61, lives across the street from the school where she attended.

Photo Clara Loiseau

Zinna Aguilera, 61, lives across the street from the school where she attended.

For her, it’s hard to imagine that on Tuesday, Salvador Ramos, 18, invaded the place with a rifle, barricaded himself in a classroom and started shooting at students aged 8 to 10 and two teachers present, before of being shot dead by the police.

“It’s such a peaceful city. We all know one or, unfortunately, several victims, we’ve seen them grow up,” she says, her throat tight and her eyes never taking her eyes off the school, which has become a symbol of the firearms madness in the United States.

A woman comforts a young woman during last night's vigil in memory of the victims of the shooting.

AFP photo

A woman comforts a young woman during last night’s vigil in memory of the victims of the shooting.

On Wednesday, this small town of 16,000 mostly Hispanic people, far from it all, amidst endless farms and green spaces, saw hundreds of citizens taking turns into the darkness to organize their thoughts. They came to bring flowers, stuffed animals, inflatable balloons and their support to the victims’ families, but also to the very shaken community.

Manda Welch gives a police officer a bouquet of flowers to leave him outside the school, where the investigation continues.

AFP photo

Manda Welch gives a police officer a bouquet of flowers to leave him outside the school, where the investigation continues.

main volume

Aboard a flight from New York to San Antonio, Texas, yesterday, a man told Daily in addition to having done everything to be able to return home after learning that a shooting had taken place at the school her two children attend.

“Tuesday was the worst day of my life when I heard there was a shooting. For three hours we didn’t know where my daughter was and my son lost friends in this tragedy,” he explains between sobs.

hundreds of kilometers

Citizens of the state came out to show their support. This is the case of Ana Ferrante, 19, Cici Richardson, 20, and Mariana Parra, 20, friends who have been driving for hours from San Antonio.

Ana Ferrante, Cici Richardson and Mariana Parra drove for hours to show their support.

Photo Clara Loiseau

Ana Ferrante, Cici Richardson and Mariana Parra drove for hours to show their support.

For meme Parra, it is time for the government to put in place clearer guidelines and laws to prevent this type of tragedy, which sadly resembles that of Sandy Hook in 2012, from happening again.

“It is not normal that even today we can go and buy weapons of this type, when we cannot drink, smoke or go out in a bar. It doesn’t make any sense,” she blurts out, admitting that she doesn’t think guns are the problem, it’s the men who use them.

A lonely but aggressive teenager

The shooter was being bullied and he liked guns

Although the reasons that led Salvador Ramos to carry out this bloody massacre in a Texas elementary school are not yet known, this 18-year-old loner is portrayed as a victim of bullying, who had a difficult family life and who could succumb to violence. Here’s what we know about him so far.

ACTIVE ON SOCIAL NETWORKS

Minutes before the shooting, Ramos wrote to a German teenager he met online that he had “just shot her grandmother in the head,” according to screenshots of the Facebook conversation obtained by CNN. In a second private message sent a few seconds later, he told her he was going to shoot an elementary school.

Four days before the murders, Ramos showed off his new weapons in fleeting photos on Instagram. A year earlier, the gunman had posted pictures of automatic rifles on his social media wish list, according to the paper. Washington Post.

BULLYING AND AGGRESSIVITY

From the beginning of high school, students had made fun of Ramos, made fun of his clothes, or made rude references to his mother or sister, depending on what a former friend — with whom he shared a passion for video games — told New York Times.

Ramos had also been bullied for his stuttering and lisping. In response, he once cut his face with a knife “just for fun”, the Washington Post another old friend.

He also had a habit of throwing eggs at vehicles, shooting random strangers with an airgun and dumping dead cats at homes, acquaintances told several US media outlets.

DIFFICULT FAMILY SITUATION

Ramos had “a very difficult life with his mother”, according to a neighbor interviewed by Washington Post. He said he saw police at the house and witnessed fights between Ramos and his mother on several occasions. Several relatives claimed to have heard them insulting and yelling, mostly in videos posted on Instagram. The shooter moved in with his grandparents a few months ago.

NEW WEAPONS

A few days after your 18and On his birthday, Salvador Ramos legally purchased two AR-15-type assault rifles – the most used weapon in mass murder in the United States – and 375 rounds from authorized dealers in the Uvalde, Texas area.

The gunman’s grandfather, Rolando Reyes, told ABC News that he had no idea his grandson had bought these guns and that they were in his home. As Reyes has a criminal record, it is illegal for him to live in a house with guns. He claimed he would have denounced his grandson if he had known.

SCHOOL AND WORK

Ramos had in recent months stopped regularly attending his school in Uvalde, Texas, so he was unable to complete his studies days before the tragedy. Instead, he worked at a Wendy’s restaurant, where he was the “quiet, not-so-saying” type. He didn’t really socialize with the other employees,” a branch manager told CNN. “He was sometimes very rude to the girls and a cook, and threatened them,” said the Daily Beast a former colleague.

gun madness

The newspaper invites you to follow its reporter Clara Loiseau who arrived in Uvalde, Texas last night to explore why Americans, and especially Texans, are so attached to their guns and to this culture that spreads across the continent, through the streets of Montreal.

Why are Americans so attached to the Second Amendment to their Constitution, which guarantees citizens the right to own guns, even though their country has been afflicted with more mass murders since the beginning of the year than the number of days that have passed? More than 17,000 Americans have died from firearms so far this year.

Texans, in particular, have almost unlimited access to firearms starting at age 18. We will also participate this weekend in the annual convention of the National Rifle Association, a very powerful pressure group that campaigns for the right to own and carry a firearm, even the most dangerous ones like the one used in the murders by Uvalde.

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