It should have been the first day of a joyous week for Robb Elementary School students, the start of summer break. Instead on Monday, the first two of 19 children slain inside a classroom were being remembered at funeral visitations.
The gathering for 10-year-old Amerie Jo Garza was at Hillcrest Memorial Funeral Home in Uvalde, Texas, directly across from the grade school where the children, along with two teachers, were shot to death on Tuesday before the gunman himself was killed. Visitation for another 10-year-old, Maite Rodriguez, was at another funeral home. More visitations, funerals and burials will follow over the next two-and-a-half weeks, one after another, after another.
On Monday, some mourners at Amerie’s visitation wore lilac or lavender shades of purple — Amerie’s favorites — at the request of her father, Angel Garza. Many carried in flowers, including purple ones.
Maite’s family wore green tie-dye shirts with an illustration showing Maite with angel wings. Before going into the funeral home, they stopped at the ditch to see the metal gate gunman Salvador Ramos crashed a pickup truck into before crossing a field and entering the school.
“How did he walk for so long?” asked Juana Magaña, Maite’s aunt.
After Ramos wrecked the truck, two men at the Hillcrest Memorial funeral home heard the crash and ran toward the accident scene. Ramos shot at them. He missed and both men made it to safety.