It was a scene of chaos, confusion and pain, where the agonized screams of family members were audible from the parking lot of a school where 19 young children and two adults were killed in a school shooting in Texas.
On Tuesday afternoon, a teenager, armed with two assault rifles, opened fire on children and teachers in Uvalde, Texas – making it the deadliest assault at an American school in a decade.
The shocking act of violence, which has ripped yet another American town to pieces, has once again prompted calls for greater gun control across the country.
As the news spread, frantic parents waited to find out if their children were safe.
“No one is telling me anything,” said Ryan Ramirez, the parent of a fourth-grade student.
“And one of the parents was saying that there are kids possibly held at the funeral home. That’s what brought me over here – to find out what’s going on.
Parents mourn as a Gunman kills 15 young kids and 3 teachers at an elementary school in #Texas
Yet another horrific mass shooting..
— Ramesh Bala (@rameshlaus) May 25, 2022
Greg Abbott, the governor of Texas, said the 600 children who attended the primary school were aged from five or six to about 12 years old.
Distraught families gathered at a local civic center and turned to social media to mourn and to make desperate pleas for help finding missing children.
By nightfall, names of those killed during Tuesday’s attack at Robb Elementary School began to emerge. One man at the civic centre walked away sobbing into his phone, “She is gone.”
Manny Renfro told AP he got word on Tuesday that his grandson, eight-year-old Uziyah Garcia, was among those killed.
“The sweetest little boy that I’ve ever known,” Renfro said. “I’m not just saying that because he was my grandkid.”
Renfro said Uziyah last visited him in San Angelo during spring break.
“We started throwing the football together and I was teaching him to pass patterns. Such a fast little boy and he could catch a ball so good,” Renfro recalled. “There were certain plays that I would call that he would remember and he would do it exactly like we practised.”
Reuters with additional input by GVS