UVALDE, Texas (AP) — Distraught families gathered at a local civic center and turned to social media to mourn and to make desperate pleas for help finding missing children as the death toll in a gruesome school shooting at a Texas elementary school rose to at least 19 students and two teachers.
By nightfall, names of those killed during Tuesday’s attack at Robb Elementary School in the town of Uvalde began to emerge. One man at the civic center walked away sobbing into his phone “she is gone.” On the backside of the building, a woman stood by herself, alternately crying and yelling into her phone, shaking her fist and stamping her feet.
Texas Department of Public Safety Lt. Christopher Olivarez told CNN on Wednesday morning that all the dead were in the same fourth-grade classroom, where the shooter barricaded himself and opened fire on the children and teachers.
Manny Renfro said he got word Tuesday that his grandson, 8-year-old Uziyah Garcia, was among those killed.
“The sweetest little boy that I’ve ever known,” Renfro said. “I’m not just saying that because he was my grandkid.”
Renfro said Uziyah last visited him in San Angelo during spring break.
“We started throwing the football together and I was teaching him pass patterns. Such a fast little boy and he could catch a ball so good,” Renfro said. “There were certain plays that I would call that he would remember and he would do it exactly like we practiced.”
Ukraine wants rocket launchers sent quickly
DAVOS, Switzerland — Ukraine’s foreign minister says the urgency of his country’s weapons needs can be summed up in two abbreviations: MLRS — multiple launch rocket systems, and ASAP — as soon as possible.
Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba says the situation in the eastern Donbas region “is extremely bad.” The rocket systems could help Ukrainian forces try to recapture places such as the southern city of Kherson from Russian occupiers who invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24.
Speaking on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum meeting in Davos, Kuleba said he had about 10 bilateral meetings with other leaders whose countries possess such systems.
“The response I get is, ‘Have the Americans given it to you already?’” he said, alluding to U.S. leadership. “So this is the burden of being a leader. Everyone is looking at you. So Washington has to keep the promise and provide us with multiple launch rocket systems as soon as possible. Others will follow.”
“If we do not get an MLRS ASAP, the situation in Donbas will get even worse than it is now,” he added. “Every day of someone sitting in Washington, Berlin, Paris and other capitals, and considering whether they should or should not do something, costs us lives and territories.”