The first testimonies of surviving children of the massacre at the school in Uvalde, Texas, where a gunman killed 19 students and two teachers, surfaced this Saturday, crudely exhibiting the horror experienced.
Meanwhile, several dozen people gathered in the central square of this town in the southern United States, converted into a place of homage to the victims.
Look: “He should have killed me”: the father of Salvador Ramos, the murderer of the elementary school in Texas, breaks the silence
“It is important to be here, to offer condolences to the community”, says Rosie Varela, 53, who traveled an hour from the Texas city of Del Rio with her husband and teenage son.
“We have to help these kids to get out of this trauma, of this pain”, said Humberto Renovato, 33, who was born and raised in Uvalde.
“Everybody will die”
Police admitted Friday that they made a “wrong decision” by delaying his admission to the school after being alerted Tuesday of the shooting.
In fact, it took about an hour to finish the slaughterDespite several calls from kids who asked for an intervention. The 19 agents who were at the scene awaited the arrival of a specialized unit.
Meanwhile, inside the school, a group of students was locked in a classroom with the shooter, Salvador Ramos, barely 18 years old and equipped with a semi-automatic rifle and a tactical vest.
After entering the classroom, Ramos closed the door and addressed the kids: “You are all going to die”, before opening fire, a survivor, Samuel Salinas, 10 years old, told the ABC channel.
“I think he was aiming at me,” the boy confessed, but a chair between him and the shooter blocked the bullet.
He threw himself on the floor covered in blood to play dead.
Miah Cerrillo, 11, did the same thing to escape the attention of Salvador Ramos. The girl covered herself with the blood of a classmate, whose body was next to her, she told CNN in off-camera testimony.
She had just seen the attacker kill her teacher after saying “good night” to her.
Another student, Daniel, told The Washington Post newspaper that while the victims waited for the police to come to their rescue, no one screamed.
“I was scared and stressed, because the bullets almost hit me,” he said.
Their teacher, who was injured, whispered to them to “keep calm” and “be still”.
A girl, also shot, had politely asked her teacher to call the police, saying she was “bleeding a lot,” said Daniel, who can no longer sleep alone and has nightmares.
The kids survivors “They are traumatized and they will have to live with it all their lives,” said their mother, Briana Ruiz.
Samuel Salinas also said he has nightmares in which he sees the shooter. The thought of going back to school, or even seeing classmates again, is still terrifying.
“I don’t really want to,” he confessed, adding that he wanted to “stay home” and “rest.”
biden on sunday
United States President Joe Biden and his wife Jill will visit Uvalde on Sunday to “share the mourning” of the inhabitants of this small town dismayed by one of the worst massacres with a firearm in recent years in the country.
“You can’t make dramas illegal, I know. But America can be made to be plus safe,” Joe Biden said in a speech on Saturday, lamenting that “so many innocent people have died.”
“We will not allow those who are motivated by hate to separate us or scare us,” said its vice president, Kamala Harris, who in mid-May attended the funeral of one of the 10 black victims killed in a racist shooting in Buffalo, New York.
The shooting of Uvaldedescribed in the American press as the “new Sandy Hook” in allusion to the appalling slaughter at a Connecticut elementary school in 2012, reawakened America’s traumas from similar firearms incidents.
The faces of the very young victims, between 9 and 11 years old, broadcast repeatedly on television, and the testimonials of their devastated loved ones have shocked the country, reigniting the debate to impose controls plus strict access to firearms, an issue that generates strong divisions in Congress.
Biden, who has regularly denounced the “epidemic” of gun violence, has failed to get Congress to pass legislation to increase controls on gun sales.
“Congress must have the courage to stand up, once and for all, to the gun lobby and pass sensible gun safety laws,” Vice President Harris tweeted, alluding to the powerful and influential National Rifle Association (NRA).
Meanwhile, Democrats in the Texas Senate have urged Republican Governor Greg Abbott to convene an emergency session of the legislature to pass bills that, among other measures, raise the minimum age to purchase firearms.
The chances of that happening, however, look slim, as Texas has long been one of the states plus gun friendly across the country.