UVALDE | Still reeling from the tragedy that struck one of its primary schools, the small Texas town of Uvalde is holding a ceremony on Wednesday in tribute to one of the two teachers who fell with their 19 students under the bullets of a gunman, while the behavior of the police is still the subject of insistent questions.
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Irma Garcia, a teacher and mother of four, died when Salvador Ramos, just 18, burst into her classroom on May 24. The ceremony will also be held in memory of her husband Joe Garcia, to whom she was married for 24 years and who died “of grief” two days after the massacre according to his family.
Another teacher, Eva Mireles, whose room was connected to that of Irma Garcia, was also killed.
According to the testimony of an 11-year-old student survivor, who smeared herself in blood and feigned death to escape the shooter, the latter looked at one of the two teachers, said "good night" to her and then fired at it, before shooting down his colleague.
The assailant was later killed by police.
The funerals of the 21 victims will extend until mid-June. Tuesday, a week after the massacre, was held the funeral of the first child victims, including Amerie Jo Garza, who had just celebrated his tenth birthday. "Funny little diva who 'hated dresses'" and "had a big heart", she dreamed of becoming an art teacher, her family had described in her obituary.
Questions around the font
The pain of the families is mixed with incomprehension and anger at the delay in the intervention of the police, considered too long.
It was indeed necessary to wait about an hour for the police to intervene in the class where the shooter had taken refuge. The 19 agents on site awaited the assault of a specialized unit.
This came as law enforcement had received numerous calls from people in the affected classrooms, including one from a child pleading, “Please send the police now.”
The Texas authorities made their mea culpa on Friday, admitting that the police should have acted more quickly.
The killings, like those that preceded it, sparked calls for stricter control of access to weapons in a country that has more guns and rifles than people.
President Joe Biden could hear them while driving to Uvalde on Sunday, voices chanting “Do something!” on his way.
On Monday, he vowed to "keep pushing" for stricter gun regulation.
“I think things have gotten so bad that it makes everyone more rational on this subject,” hoped the Democratic president.
But moving from words to deeds will be difficult: the narrow majority of his party in Congress does not allow him to pass such legislation on his own.
In the meantime, the weekend following the tragedy was again marked by a series of shootings that left several dead and dozens injured.
And on Tuesday, a grandmother was shot and killed in Louisiana as she left her grandson's graduation ceremony, according to local media.