An innocent cheerleader, a silly and loving softball player and a smart and shy tom boy with a love for the outdoors were laid to rest Thursday as part of Uvalde’s prolonged period of mourning over the May 24 massacre at Robb Elementary.
The three fourth-graders were among the 19 children killed along with their teachers, Irma Garcia and Eva Mireles, when an 18-year-old gunman burst into their classroom after firing shots outside the building and entering through an unlocked door.
Thursday’s grief was private, the ceremonies quiet and heavily guarded by police. A somber mood had seeped into every facet of the small south Texas community.
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“Every child I see in HEB, I want to hug,” said Francisca Baron, a longtime resident of Uvalde who lived down the street from the bustling funeral home, Rushing-Estes Knowles Mortuary. “It’s so bad.”
Around 11 a.m., a crowd of about 100 mourners gathered at Rushing-Estes to remember Eliahna Torres, the softball player, described in her obituary as a Tik Tok-loving 10-year-old with a beautiful smile and a knack for making people laugh. Later in the day, at the same funeral home, families reflected on the life of Maranda Mathis, the shy tomboy whose imagination shined through her love of unicorns and mermaids.