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Vigils held in Uvalde, other Texas cities after school shooting

NBC News logo NBC News 5/26/2022 Alicia Victoria Lozano and Phil Helsel

SAN ANTONIO — Mourners in Uvalde and other Texas cities held vigils Wednesday for the 19 children and two teachers killed in Tuesday’s shooting at an elementary school.

“Our hearts are broken. We are devastated,” Pastor Tony Gruben of Baptist Temple Church said at the Uvalde County Fairplex Wednesday evening.

Vigils were also held in San Antonio and in the Texas state capital of Austin.

In San Antonio, around 80 miles to the east, a crying woman distributed flowers and balloons to the mourners who gathered at San Fernando Cathedral.

“We’re here for Uvalde,” Mayor Ron Nirenberg said. “We’re here to be a witness to the collective trauma.”

Interfaith leaders and local officials joined residents in grief and anger, forming a half circle as the cathedral’s bell rolled 21 times, once for each victim.


Video: Indian students hold candlelit vigil for Texas school shooting victims (TODAY)

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“Children shouldn’t suffer at the hands of anyone,” said San Antonio resident Justin “Tex” Mire, a father of four. “You always have to believe there’s hope.”

Esmeralda Bravo, center, holds a photo of her granddaughter, Nevaeh, one of the Robb Elementary School shooting victims, as she is comforted by Nevaeh's cousin, Anayeli, during a prayer vigil in Uvalde, Texas, on May 25, 2022. (Jae C. Hong / AP) © Provided by NBC News Esmeralda Bravo, center, holds a photo of her granddaughter, Nevaeh, one of the Robb Elementary School shooting victims, as she is comforted by Nevaeh's cousin, Anayeli, during a prayer vigil in Uvalde, Texas, on May 25, 2022. (Jae C. Hong / AP)

Tuesday’s shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, a city of around 15,200, killed 19 students and two teachers. The 18-year-old gunman was killed by law enforcement, officials have said. A motive is not known.

The mass shooting elicited shock and sadness across the nation and beyond. The leaders of Ukraine, France, Germany and Israel were among those expressing condolences over the senseless killing.

In Austin, mourners placed flowers at the state Capitol and called for an end to gun violence, NBC affiliate KXAN of Austin reported.

President Joe Biden said Wednesday that he and first lady Jill Biden will travel to Texas in the coming days to meet with the families the the community. He did not specify a date at that time.

“As a nation, I think we all must be there for them, everyone,” Biden said at an executive order signing ceremony Wednesday.

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