Uvalde students will not return to school after mass shooting

Uvalde, Texas - Students and staff will not be returning to the Uvalde elementary school where a gunman shot and killed 21 people last week.

Robb Elementary School is now a memorial site strewn with flowers and crosses in tribute to the victims of its deadly school shooting.
Robb Elementary School is now a memorial site strewn with flowers and crosses in tribute to the victims of its deadly school shooting.  © REUTERS

Classes at Robb Elementary had been set to end for the year on May 26, just two days after reported gunman Salvador Ramos entered the school through an unlocked door and barricaded himself inside a classroom.

The 18-year-old suspect unleashed more than 100 rounds of gunfire during the attack, fatally striking two teachers and 19 students.

Investigators are currently probing why a self-locking door at Robb Elementary failed to engage after a teacher pulled it shut in the minutes before the shooting, the Texas Department of Public Safety said.

Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District (UCISD) Superintendent Hal Harrell said that it would stay that way for the foreseeable future, confirming no more classes would take place at the site of the bloodshed.

Harrell however did not address rumors about whether the elementary school would be razed.

"Students and staff will not be returning to the Robb Elementary campus," he said. "We are working through plans on how to serve students on other campuses and will provide that information as soon as it is finalized. We are also working with agencies to help us identify improvements on all UCISD campuses."

School shooting community seeks to build back "stronger"

Empty chairs with names of the victims of the Robb Elementary School mass shooting during a vigil in Uvalde, Texas.
Empty chairs with names of the victims of the Robb Elementary School mass shooting during a vigil in Uvalde, Texas.  © REUTERS/Marco Bello

The superintendent also emphasized officials’ priority is the well-being of the members of the school’s community.

"First and foremost, we are going to continue to provide counseling and support to our families and staff for the foreseeable future," Harrell said. "We know that our lives will never be the same, but we also know that we will join together to honor the lives we lost and build a stronger Uvalde for those who remain."

He concluded: "I will continue to pray for our community and believe that better days are ahead. We grieve together, we pray together, we grow together."

Ramos was shot and killed by a responding border patrol agent. A motive behind the attack remains unknown.

Cover photo: REUTERS

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