On May 24, 2022, the Robb Elementary School shooting left 19 children and two teachers dead – as well as 17 others injured – at the hands of 18-year-old Salvador Ramos. It was a tragic day that left the Uvalde community and parents around the world shook with fear and confusion.
In the 18 weeks since the shooting, multiple reports and investigations have revealed the many “systemic failures and egregiously poor decision making” by law enforcement officials, who waited for more than an hour before taking action against the shooter. In that time, chaos ensued.
While the on-scene commander, Pete Arradando, and several other Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) officers have since been fired or investigated, parents and relatives of the victims aren’t satisfied with the outcomes of those investigations and are still searching for answers.
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One father, Brett Cross, has been camping outside the school district administrative building for 10 days straight in hopes of receiving answers and spurring action. His 10-year-old son, Uziyah Garcia, was one of the 19 students killed during the shooting, but Brett isn’t giving up just yet.
“I’m not backing down. I’m a pissed-off dad who is going to do everything in his power to not let this happen to another child or another father or another mother,” said Cross in an interview with TODAY. “It’s been 18 weeks since our children were murdered, and they haven’t done anything.”
One of the primary things Cross is demanding is the suspension of any district officials that were involved in the failed response to the Robb Elementary School shooting. “The time for asking is over. They don’t listen. So we’re not asking. We’re demanding. There will be change,” he added.
Cross isn’t alone, either. Throughout the day, he’s visited by other parents and community members who were affected by the shooting. They help motivate one another to keep going, often sharing memories of their children – an emotional rollercoaster, but one they’re in together.
“We’ve all become a family. As much as I hate the way that it happened for us to become close, I’m truly grateful that I have these people here because we couldn’t do this alone,” said Cross in his interview with TODAY Parents. “We can be laughing and crying at the same time.”
Parents of Robb Elementary School Shooting Victims Start to See Progress
It appears the efforts by Brett Cross and other parents of the victims are finally being seen and heard by district officials. In a shocking development on Friday, the Uvalde school district has suspended its entire police department – this comes after 245 hours of protests by Cross.
As the investigations continue, we can expect more action to be taken against the officers that were responsible for the botched response to the Robb Elementary School shooting. It’s something the parents have fought for non-stop over the past eight weeks, but they finally did it.
Cross noted that it’s his son’s voice that gave him the wherewithal to continue fighting. “His voice is always in my mind, saying, ‘You got this.’ That’s what keeps me going. I think he’d be right here with me if things were different,” said Cross of his 10-year-old son, Uziyah.
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“My son wanted to help people, and his wanting to help people is what drives me. In his honor, everything that we do … is because of him. It’s because of the other children. We are not going to let them die in vain — we are going to save people, because of them,” he told TODAY.
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