Armed with a rifle, an 18-year-old man shot his grandmother before driving to Robb Elementary School in Uvalde and overpowering a school officer, according to Texas Department of Public Safety Sgt. Erick Estrada. The shooter was later killed by responding police, Abbott said.
The shooting marks the deadliest shooting at a U.S. grade school since the 2012 attack at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. It also comes just 10 days after a gunman killed 10 people at a mass shooting in Buffalo, New York.
Uvalde is a city of about 16,000 people about 80 miles west of San Antonio.
Funeral homes in the community have offered to help the victims' families lay their loved ones to rest at no cost, including Hillcrest Memorial Funeral Home and Rushing-Estes-Knowles Mortuary.
"We have fought together as a community and we will pull together as one now in our time of need," Hillcrest Memorial Funeral Home wrote in a Facebook post. "Hillcrest will be assisting families with NO COST for funerals for all involved in today’s horrific events. Prayer for our small amazing town."
Here is how you can help the community of Uvalde:
The crowdfunding website GoFundMe has set up a central page for family aid with verified donation options. One of the pools, started by California-based nonprofit VictimsFirst, had raised more than $640,000 by noon Wednesday.
A Robb Elementary Memorial Fund account has been opened at First State Bank of Uvalde for the families of Robb Elementary, according to a tweet from the Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District.
Robb Elementary Memorial Fund
An account has been opened at First State Bank of Uvalde for the families of Robb Elementary. If you would like to donate, you can do so at any FSB branch. pic.twitter.com/CRW1KNTyAF
— Uvalde CISD (@Uvalde_CISD) May 25, 2022
Those who wish to donate can do so at any branch. Checks can also be mailed to 200 E Nopal St., Uvalde, Texas, 78801. Donors can also send money on Zelle to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Anita Busch, president of VictimsFirst, said the best thing people can do right now is donate money and make sure it's getting into the right hands. She also stressed some of the group’s best practices on the heels of mass casualties like this one.
According to the nonprofit, it’s best to:
Organize outreach to local businesses and community organizations, national corporations and the public to collect money and ensure 100% goes directly to victims.
Watch over the money to make sure all donations collected in the victims’ names go directly to the victim base.
Abide by a “No Notoriety” policy for the sake of public safety.
Connect victims and survivors with the proper services and agencies they need (such as the Office of Victims’ Assistance for burial expenses) through referral.
Partner with organizations to end online harassment and conspiracy theories against victims and survivors.
Work with local, state and federal governments to advocate for victims' rights.
If you're in the area, emergency blood drives have been set up.
South Texas Blood & Tissue was hosting an emergency blood drive at the Herby Ham Activity Center on Wednesday.
Roger Ruiz, a spokesman for the center, told USA TODAY blood donations are always welcome because the nation has a blood shortage. So even if donors aren’t local to Uvalde, he said, they can still help their communities.
“Blood never takes a vacation,” he said. “People always need our help.”
You can schedule an appointment here and walk-ins are also welcome.
Our hearts are with the Uvalde community. ❤️ We are hosting an emergency blood drive tomorrow at Herby Ham Activity Center from 9 am to 2 pm. Walk-ins are welcome or you can schedule your appointment here: https://t.co/6KKgHW79zo
— South Texas Blood & Tissue (@connectforlife) May 24, 2022
University Health also encourages the community to consider donating blood.
You can schedule an appointment to donate blood here.
The American Red Cross said in a statement that it has all the resources it needs, but it is working with the Department of Public Safety, the City of Uvalde and Uvalde County to help families.
"We will continue to coordinate with local officials and community partners to determine how we can best support the Uvalde community in the days and weeks ahead," the post read. "While we do not typically serve hospitals in this area of Texas, the American Red Cross stands ready to provide blood and blood products as needed in response to this tragedy.”
Volunteer to be an attorney
San Antonio Legal Services Association is calling for attorney volunteers.
Volunteers will assist Uvalde shooting victims and their families with legal services. Licensed attorneys in Texas can send their availability through June and area of practice to email@example.com.
Follow Sarah Ann Dueñas on Twitter @sarahcantweet.
Contributing: Wyatte Grantham-Philips, John Bacon, Celina Tebor, Saleen Martin, USA TODAY.
Translation: Javier Arce
This article originally appeared on Austin American-Statesman: How to help Texas elementary school shooting victims in Uvalde