It was the last week of the school year, and Robb Elementary School was celebrating with special themed days, where students were invited to dress up. But what should have been a happy, exciting time turned into a traumatizing tragedy when a gunman entered the school and started shooting children and staff.
On Monday the theme was “Loyal and True,” and students wore maroon, the school’s color. Tuesday was “Footloose and Fancy,” where kids dressed up and wore fancy or fun shoes.
Students were scheduled to wear shorts on Wednesday for “This Year Felt ‘Short'” and flip flops on Thursday for “Flippin’ Excited for Summer” day, but after the, officials decided to end the school year early. All extra-curricular activities were canceled for the rest of the week and graduation has been postponed indefinitely, officials said.
“The school year’s done,” the school district’s Superintendent Hal Harrell said during a press conference following the shooting. “My heart was broken today. We’re a small community and we need your prayers to get through this.”
Uvalde resident Derek Gonzalez, who said he was nearby the school and heard gunshots, described the Uvalde community to CBS News.
“In the neighborhood where the school’s at, everybody knows each other. Everybody has grown up around there and we’re always there for each other,” he said. “When everybody – when we heard al this, all the neighborhood started coming out, running to the school, because we know everybody has family there.”
Students were transported to a local civic center after the shooting, which is now staffed with counselors and therapy dogs for the mourning members of the community.
The shooting in Uvalde is the second worst elementary school shooting in U.S. history, following the, where 28 students and staff died.
A Robb Elementary Memorial Fund has been created by First State Bank, according to Uvalde CISD. Donations will “assist the families of this tragedy especially those dealing with funeral and medical expenses,” the school district said.