UVALDE, Texas (WOAI/KABB) – A recent mass shooting is bringing people from all over the county to the small Texas town of Uvalde, including elected officials at the state and federal levels, who are hoping it will be the catalyst for reform.
Hundreds were coming and going through Uvalde on Saturday to grieve and support the community. Many of them were also demanding change to prevent a mass shooting like this from happening again.
“We feel this right now and everybody is together and united, but we need change,” said south Texas mother and teacher Cindy Ochoa.
“They are destroyed,” said Sen. Roland Gutierrez, D-San Antonio, said. “They’re destroyed, and it’s hard. It’s hard.”
The attack that left 19 children and two teachers dead in a fourth grade classroom was the nation's deadliest school shooting in nearly a decade.
On Friday, Gutierrez interrupted Gov. Greg Abbott’s press conference and demanded a special session of the legislature be called.
Abbott responded to by saying “all options are on the table.”
“We need to bring this back to the capitol in three or four weeks so that we can figure out what happened here and so that we can create change so that these types of things don’t ever happen again,” Gutierrez said Saturday.
Gutierrez said a letter was delivered to Abbott Saturday from Senate Democrats asking for the special session.
On Friday, Amarillo republican Sen. Kel Seliger voiced agreement on Twitter, saying, in part, “do something!”
“We have to have significant change and the time is now. The time is now,” Gutierrez added.
U.S. Rep. Joaquin Castro, D-San Antonio, was also at the memorial Saturday. He said red flag laws, age limits and other changes can make a world of difference, but politicians must be open to changes.
“That’s up to politicians who are at the state level and the federal level to pass laws, really, that honor the lives of these kids and their teachers and make sure that this doesn’t happen in other communities,” Castro said.
Castro added once authorities have a full scope of what happened it is the responsibility of people on both sides of the isle to act.
President Joe Biden is set to visit Uvalde on Sunday. Castro said he expects the president to offer his condolences but also set the tone for huge changes that he expects to be on the horizon.