You have to have hated your childhood to attack a primary school armed with an assault rifle. A few days before a graduation ceremony he was not going to attend, Salvador Ramos, 18, blew up the lives of 19 children aged 9 to 11, ruined those of their families, his grand -mother, and lost hers. He joins the list of young people at odds with society, mass killers before he is even 20 years old. In 1999, the Columbine (Colorado) shooting killed 13 people: the country was in a state of shock for weeks. Thirteen dead is eight less than at Uvalde.
In front of Robb Elementary, at the exit of Uvalde, the sign ” Welcome “ is covered by flowers and balloons. The inhabitants come with their families to deposit who a bouquet, who a teddy bear. On GoFundMe, the family support fund continues to swell, like the hearts of parents. A few hours after the massacre, Tuesday May 24, they were asked for DNA samples. The bodies of some children, pulverized by the bullets, are unrecognizable.
It’s the season of graduations, graduation ceremonies, a big deal in a locality where “everyone knows everyone”. The day before the killing, the final year students had come to greet the little ones at primary school, dressed in their graduate gowns, a tradition in the county. In the morning, Xavier Lopez, 10, and Jose Flores, the same age, had posed for photos – their last – with their honor rolls. Education is an important topic for minorities, especially Hispanics. A high school diploma is the hope of accessing the American dream. Salvador Ramos had skipped too many classes to qualify for the year-end awards.
“It’s time to die”
Uvalde has 15,000 inhabitants, 78% Latinos. The old center is made of one-storey wooden houses covered with crosses, welcome messages, colors and flowers. 85 kilometers from the Mexican border, immigration is old (only 10% of residents were born abroad), and everyone is bilingual. “A community of faith, blue collars and agricultural workers”, summarizes one of the county commissioners, Ronald Garza. And rather prosperous, judging by the number of gleaming tractors exhibited by dealers at the entrance to the city.
Uvalde’s economy has also benefited from the strengthening of security at the border, the first checkpoint of which is 7 km away. On Tuesday, it was also the border police that the local police called to the rescue to neutralize Salvador Ramos, who had barricaded himself in a class. The killer was able to stay there for over an hour without being stopped. An eternity for the parents who had begun to gather outside the establishment, prevented from entering by police who, instead of rushing on the assassin, brutalized the fathers who wanted to storm . A mother told the Wall Street Journal that she had been handcuffed, but had managed to free herself, jump over the fence and get her children.
You have 62.85% of this article left to read. The following is for subscribers only.