'Still the same thing. No consequences': 1 year after Uvalde tragedy, families still without answers

Pooja Lodhia Image
Tuesday, May 23, 2023
Questions still unanswered 1 year after Uvalde tragedy, community says
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Uvalde community members say many questions remain unanswered one year following the mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in 2022.

UVALDE, Texas (KTRK) -- This week marks one year since a former student killed 19 students and two teachers in Uvalde.

"I'm still stuck on day one. I'm still stuck waiting for Amerie, and she never came out," explained Dora Mendoza, the grandmother of 10-year-old Amerie Jo Garza. "I'm still waiting for her to run out like the other kids, and she never did."

Amerie was one of 21 murdered.

Officials said 376 law enforcement officers responded that day, but it was 77 minutes before any of them went in.

Families still don't know why.

The Texas Rangers and the Department of Justice have ongoing investigations, but neither has been completed or resulted in any charges.

"They've had nothing but pure hell for a year," Uvalde Mayor Don McLaughlin said. "In a year's time, they still don't have answers to simple questions they should have gotten. I'm the mayor, and I haven't gotten one briefing from anybody from day one."

RELATED: Uvalde families frustrated and continue to mourn nearly 1 year after the school shooting

In a press conference Monday, the mayor said the city's private investigation into the shooting had been blocked.

"Everybody who was there that day needs to be held accountable, whether it be the school police department, the Uvalde police department, every agency that was there," he said. "This is my opinion - it's been a bunch of B.S. We've been here, and we're still waiting for answers. But, we are moving forward to get those answers, and as soon as we have our report, which should have been done and it's not, I can promise you whatever action we can take, we will take."

Plans have also been delayed multiple times to demolish Robb Elementary, the site of so much pain for this community.

"We still see law enforcement that were in the hallway driving police cars," Mendoza said. "Nothing has changed for us. Still the same thing. No consequences."

"You can't begin to heal, and you can't begin to get closure if the fundamental things haven't been answered," said Jesse Rizo, the uncle of Jacklyn "Jackie" Cazares. "I am disappointed, to be honest with you, with my community. At the beginning of those tragedies, people from all over the place, including Uvalde, came together. The people that had the power to do what was right, in my opinion, they just blew it. They blew the opportunity that they had, and now they have a lot of work ahead."

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