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UVALDE, Texas – A memorial that has sprung up outside the Uvalde school where 21 students and teachers lost their lives to a gunman Tuesday is drawing relatives to the site.
A growing number of flowers, balloons and candles covered the lawn Thursday outside Robb Elementary School along with 21 handmade white wooden crosses.
Each carefully painted cross bears the name of one of the 19 children and two teachers who died in the shooting.
The crosses, according to a Department of Public Safety trooper who was on duty all night, are the work of a Uvalde man.
The trooper said he watched as the man brought the artwork, which he spent all day creating, to the site late Wednesday night.
By mid-morning Thursday, people continued to stream in, carrying more items to add to the memorial.
George Rodriguez arrived with two balloons, one for each of the two relatives he lost to the violence.
One of them was 10-year-old Jose Flores, who Rodriguez described as his step-grandson.
“(He was a) pretty-happy-go-lucky boy. Full of life,” Rodriguez said through tears. “He was my life and I died with him. I wish I could.”
He said Eliahana Torres, also 10-years-old, was the daughter of his niece.
Both children were in the same fourth-grade classroom when the 18-year-old gunman stormed in and shot them along with the others.
In all, 19 children and two teachers died.
“(Flores) was just a little innocent child, as they all were,” Rodriguez said. “I pray he’ll be in heaven and all the children.”
Rodriguez said the deaths have left him inconsolable.
He also prays no other family has to go through what his is enduring.
“Stop this. Stop this violence,” Rodriguez said, pleading.
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