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‘I Hope You Didn’t Feel Any Pain’ — Families Of Uvalde Shooting Victims Share Heartbreaking Tributes Online

Photo: Facebook
Uvalde School Shooting victims and family members

Just two days before Robb Elementary School was about to begin their summer vacation, a lone gunman armed with an AR-15 assault rifle entered the school and opened fire inside of a classroom before being killed by law enforcement that responded.

Parents, brothers, sisters, guardians, caretakers, all of those who loved and cared for the 19 children and two teachers who were lost during the school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, waited long into the night before finding out whether their sweet child was one of the unlucky ones that had been taken.

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Some family members had to be swabbed for DNA or even provide DNA in order to prove their relationship and identify victims.

After these swabs of DNA were provided, family members were told to wait until all of the tests had been completed before they would find out if their child made it.

Families of the Uvalde school shooting victims have been sharing their grief online.

According to a post by the school district on Facebook, the SSGT Willie de Leon Civic Center had become a reunification center for the parents who wanted to see their children safe.

Shaken children were bused to the civic center late Tuesday afternoon, while those family members whose children were lost cried out in pain at the loss of their children.

"We see people coming out just terrorized. They're crying one by one. They're being told that their child has passed on," state Sen. Roland Gutierrez told CNN Tuesday night from the site.

“A father, who had just learned his child was dead, fought tears as several of his cousins embraced him,” reported CNN.

“A few yards away, a grandmother who had just driven from San Antonio said she would not stop praying for her 10-year-old granddaughter as they waited for the DNA results.”

As the evening came and hours passed, still, there were family members who hadn’t been reconnected with their children.

"We have people that still have not had their children identified," Gutierrez said. "Right now, they're still doing a DNA match."

The rest of the school year, which was set to end on Thursday, had been canceled by the district, marking an early start to a long summer vacation for those affected by the tragedy.

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Authorities eventually identified all of the victims and informed all of the families involved — some of which took to social media to post their grievances and losses.

Children as young as eight years old had been slain by the 18-year-old gunman.

8-year-old Uziyah Garcia was "full of life" and "loved anything with wheels," his uncle Mitch Renfro told CNN.

He was the "sweetest little boy that I've ever known," his grandfather told KSAT.

“He was funny, never serious and his smile,” Felicha Martinez, mother of 10-year-old Xavier Lopez told the Washington Post, her voice breaking. “That smile I will never forget. It would always cheer anyone up.”

He was “full of life” and “couldn’t wait” to finish elementary school and attend middle school.

Angel Garza followed up his post on Facebook, searching for his 10-year-old daughter Amerie Jo Garza, by saying "She's been found.”

“My little love is now flying high with the angels above. Please don't take a second for granted," Garza wrote. "Hug your family. Tell them you love them."

Teachers Eva Mireles and Irma Garcia were among the 21 killed and saw their family members posting to Twitter as well.

“My tia did not make it, she sacrificed herself protecting the kids in her classroom,” wrote Garcia’s nephew John Martinez on Twitter. “I beg of you to keep my family including all of her family in y’all’s prayers.”

“My beautiful mom, thank you for the funniest memories,” wrote Mireles’s daughter, Adalynn, on Twitter. “Thank you for the best times of my life. Thank you for being my best friend. Thank you for being the best mom anyone could ask for.”

The country reels from the deadliest school shooting in nearly a decade as it still recovers from a mass shooting just 10 days ago in Buffalo, NY.

The Uvalde school shooting is the 212th mass shooting in the United States, and occurred 144 days into the year, prompting people to ask the question that no one seems able to answer: When will it end?

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Isaac Serna-Diez is a writer who focuses on entertainment and news, social justice, and politics. Follow him on Twitter here.

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