Correspondent in New York
A trickle of funerals, memorials and burials these days overwhelms Uvalde, the Texas town where an 18-year-old boy shot up an elementary school, killing 19 children and their two teachers. The funeral will be scattered until the middle of this month, so that each of the victims can be remembered and mourned individually.
Yesterday morning it was the turn of Irma Garciaone of the teachers, and her husband, joe garcia, who died of a heart attack the day after the massacre. Both left four orphans, a family tragedy that has caused a million dollar injection of donations so that the little ones can get ahead.
In the afternoon was the funeral of Jose Manuel Floresten years old, a boy who loved baseball and had the misfortune, like the rest of his classmates, to be in the class where the shooter unleashed an indiscriminate hail of bullets from a military-style rifle.
In Uvalde, mourning coexists with indignation at the police response to the tragedy – the attacker, Salvador Ramos, was an hour barricaded in a classroom without being restrained by the security forces – and with speculation and accusations about what allowed the massacre to take place.
This environment has caused the Uvalde police and the security body of the local school district ceased to cooperate with the investigation of the massacre carried out by the Texas Department of Public Safety, as reported by ABC News.
This decision was made after the director of that agency, Steven McCraw, assured last Friday in a controversial press conference that the decision not to enter the classroom for the attacker for so long was “wrong” and contrary to police protocol.
According to a spokesperson for that organization, the Uvalde police chief submitted to an interview, but did not want to have a second meeting with the investigators.
In the last few hours, new details have also become known about how the massacre occurred, which has reopened the debate in the US on access to weapons -Ramos bought them legally- and about safety in schools.
It was known that Ramos had entered the educational center through a side door that should have been closed, no possibility of it being opened from the outside. It was also known that a teacher had opened that door shortly before the massacre.
At first it was believed that the teacher left it open by accident, which would mean a mistake in school safety protocols. The teacher’s lawyer assured the local media ‘San Antonio Express-News’ that her client closed it and thought that she would be blocked.
The teacher had left the door ajar with a stone so she could bring food from a parked car into one of the classes. «He removed the stone and went back in», said his lawyer, when he realized that there was an attack. The authorities have acknowledged that there are security recordings in which the door was seen to be closed. However, it was not blocked and Ramos was able to enter and carry out the shooting.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism