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Governor issues disaster declaration in Uvalde, Texas

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Flowers are piled around crosses with the names of the victims killed in last week’s school shooting as people visit a memorial at Robb Elementary School to pay their respects, Tuesday, May 31, 2022, in Uvalde, Texas. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

AP

Gov. Greg Abbott has declared a state of disaster in the Southwest Texas city of Uvalde after a gunman on May 24 entered an elementary school there and killed 19 children and two teachers, according to a news release from the governor’s office.

The declaration will accelerate state and local resources available to assist the community and suspend regulations that would prevent “necessary action in coping with the aftermath of the tragic shooting.”

State officials said Salvador Ramos, 18, entered the school and killed the children and teachers after shooting his grandmother in the face. Ramos was shot and killed by law enforcement.

It was the deadliest school shooting in Texas history.

Abbott announced on May 27 that the city will be receiving special assistance from the state in the wake of the shooting, such as mental and emotional health care resources, money for funeral services, covered travel expenses for family members who have to travel long distances to get to the city and child care services.

“The disaster declaration frees up the many resources available through the State of Texas and local jurisdictions to continue providing much needed support to all who were impacted and work in the community unencumbered by regulations unnecessary to respond to this tragedy,” Abbott said in the release. “All of Texas stands with Uvalde and we are prepared to provide support through all available means.”

The state has also set up the Robb School Memorial Fund through One Star, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit established after Hurricane Harvey to assist the victims of the storm. Abbott said the foundation has no overhead costs and that 100% of the money donated will “go directly to the victims of this horrible crime.” Many of the services provided to the community, victims and families will be paid for in part by donations through One Star, Abbott said.

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James Hartley is a breaking news journalist at the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. He’s a North Texas native who joined the Star-Telegram team during a 2019 internship and just didn’t leave. He’s passionate about true stories and loves understated movies, good tea and scotch that’s out of his budget.

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