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Uvalde pastors reflect on 1 year since school shooting at Robb Elementary

Flowers are piled around crosses with the names of the victims killed in the school shooting at Robb Elementary School. (Jae C. Hong/AP)
Flowers are piled around crosses with the names of the victims killed in the school shooting at Robb Elementary School. (Jae C. Hong/AP)

On May 24, 2022, a gunman killed 19 children, two teachers and injured 17 others at the Robb Elementary school — the deadliest school shooting in Texas history.

On year later, Tony Gruben, pastor at Baptist Temple Church in Uvalde, says every person in the community is healing at their own pace.

“It’s probably not as quick a time as we want it to be,” Gruben says. “So be patient and and continue to look to God for strength and look to God and even in the midst of the pain and the suffering and the anger, the bitterness.”

Joe Ruiz, pastor of Templo Christiano, has pointed parishioners to Isaiah 41:10 for comfort: “Do not fear for I am with you. Do not be dismayed for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you and I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

And Isaiah 43:2, Ruiz says, talks about how we will not drown in deep waters nor burn in the fire of oppression because God is with us.

Many of the victim’s families have not started healing because they’ve been so involved with the media and the fight for gun control, Ruiz says.

“I don’t believe people can heal without grieving first,” he says. “And I don’t think that a lot of the families that have lost their loved ones or their children have allowed time for grieving.”

On this anniversary, Gruben encourages people to lean on both God and each other.

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart,” Gruben says, “and lean, not only on your own understanding, in all your ways acknowledge him and he will make your path straight.


Lynn Menegon produced and edited this interview for broadcast with Catherine Welch. Welch also adapted it for the web.

This article was originally published on WBUR.org.

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