A shooting at Uvalde Memorial Park shakes a healing community
Local authorities will heighten efforts to tackle gang violence in the city, which they believe to be at the heart of the recent events.
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Last night, Sept. 8, a mourning community experienced revived fears of gun violence after local authorities reported a shooting at Uvalde Memorial Park, two miles away from Robb Elementary where a tragedy claimed the lives of 19 children and two adults. The events of May 24 made a reeling community the subject of a national conversation surrounding gun reform.
Authorities suspect the latest activity at the memorial grounds is related to local gang rivalry in the area. The Austin American-Stateman reports the shooting left as many as six injured, according to Texas Sen. Rolando Gutierrez.
“We are working with the Uvalde Police Department and Sheriff’s Office following a suspected gang related shooting at Memorial Park. This information is preliminary, as the situation develops we will work with local law enforcement to provide updates,” the Texas Department of Public Safety said in a statement.
The shooting, which took place at 5:30 p.m., happened just miles away from Robb Elementary School.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott promptly issued a statement addressing efforts to tackle gang-related activity in the city of Uvalde, though he made no mention of the event’s proximity to the tragedy that struck the area just months earlier.
“After speaking with the mayor and the county judge about the immediate need for more law enforcement support, I have directed the Department of Public Safety to conduct patrol operations in the gang hotspots, send an additional six DPS trooper units to work around the clock, and begin coordinating an anti-gang effort with the city,” Abbott said in a statement.
Read the Governor’s full remarks here.
Abbott also honed in pursuing justice, announcing combined efforts with Uvalde’s Mayor and County Judge to deploy and heighten anti-gang efforts in the city.
“I immediately called Mayor McLaughlin and County Judge Mitchell to offer the state’s full support and resources as law enforcement hunts down the gang members,” he wrote.
Developing reporting also identified two suspects in connection with the crime. Authorities tell the community that it is “not a dangerous situation for the general public.”
Just spoke to the Uvalde Mayor he tells us - it was a rival gang shooting. 2 people were hit and airlifted to San Antonio, they were conscious when taken. They’re looking for 2-3 suspects at this time. @ksatnews https://t.co/w1ze3tUmdP— John Paul Barajas (@KSATJohnPaul) September 9, 2022
The latest shooting follows a tragic massacre at Robb Elementary on May 24 that took the lives of children and teachers and has elicited doubt on local law enforcement’s ability to control gun activity.
At the scene, hundreds of officers waited for an hour as the gunman wreaked violent havoc on school premises.
Most recently, the Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District held a 90-minute, closed-door meeting to evaluate the events leading up to the mass shooting. The board voted unanimously to terminate Uvalde Police Chief Pete Arredondo with no pay for the period he was on administrative leave.
Arredondo was not present in the meeting and released a statement calling the board’s decision an “illegal and unconstitutional public lynching and respectfully requests the Board immediately reinstate him, with all backpay and benefits and close the complaint as unfounded.”