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Uvalde families to begin burying loved ones this week

Uvalde memorial 053022 TPR
Jiawen Chen
/
TPR
Wood crosses line a sidewalk leading to the makeshift memorial for the victims of the school shooting in Uvalde. People from all over the state have visited the small town to honor the victims of last week's deadly event.

Funerals for some of the 21 victims of the school shooting in Uvalde are scheduled for the next few days.

Marysol Davis lost her “little cousin” Maite Rodriguez in last week’s mass school shooting.

On Monday, she drove to Uvalde – the city where she grew up – to attend the visitation for the 10-year-old Robb Elementary student. She also stopped by the visitation for 10-year-old Amerie Garza.

Multiple funerals are scheduled for the next few days, including those for Amerie and Maite on Tuesday.

Davis said she wants people to remember Maite as the “sweetest little girl.”

“Always had a smile on her face. She was just daddy’s girl, and I love the relationship that her and my cousin had,” she said. “It was beautiful. She was just a sweet little girl, the kindest.”

Davis said she’s still trying to process what happened.

“It’s been tough,” she said. “It’s been really, really hard to even know that something like this could even happen in such a small town where everybody knows each other.”

Burning candles surround mounds of pictures, stuffed animals, flowers and balloon that help make up the memorial near a fountain in Uvalde's town center.
Jiawen Chen
/
TPR
A makeshift memorial to the 19 Uvalde children and two adults that were killed last week continues to grow as visitors leave tokens of condolences.

Seeing the number of people from out of town and out of state visit the town has been comforting the Ulvade native.

Long lines of people have formed at both the makeshift memorial on the town square and the one outside Robb Elementary School.

“I think it’s amazing the fact that people can come out, take time out of their day to actually come and pay their respects to the family and just be here with this community,” she said. “I think they definitely need it.”

She, like many others, are also demanding that more be done to prevent another mass shooting. She said lawmakers should tighten gun laws.

“Not just let anybody purchase a gun,” she said. “If you see red flags, like I just hope there’s more that this country can do to help with that.”

This week, a bipartisan group of lawmakers is planning to meet virtually to discuss gun reform. Texas Republican Senator John Cornyn will be among those participating in talks about gun legislation.

Meanwhile, Uvalde families are focused on burying their loved ones.

Those remembering Amerie say she was brilliant — she had just made the honor roll. Amerie was also kind and sassy. She loved Chick-Fil-A and a good vanilla bean frappé from Starbucks.

Lupe Ibarra is related to Amerie — Ibarra’s cousin was her grandmother. “She was very loved, she was a cheerful happy little girl,” Ibarra said outside Amerie’s visitation.

“And I just talked to my cousin right now and she says she made the house — she made it joyful.”

Got a tip? Email Stella M. Chávez at schavez@kera.org. You can follow Stella on Twitter @stellamchavez.

KERA News is made possible through the generosity of our members. If you find this reporting valuable, consider making a tax-deductible gift today. Thank you.

Stella M. Chávez is KERA’s immigration/demographics reporter/blogger. Her journalism roots run deep: She spent a decade and a half in newspapers – including seven years at The Dallas Morning News, where she covered education and won the Livingston Award for National Reporting, which is given annually to the best journalists across the country under age 35.
Sergio Martínez-Beltrán reports on Texas politics and government for The Texas Newsroom.