Texas workers head to Uwald after school to help with shootings gun violence news

Uwald, Texas, USA – Tracy Colton didn’t know what to say.

“We have family member Come in and get pictures of their dead children,” said the 47-year-old Walgreens pharmacy manager in downtown Uwald. “What did you say to them? You can’t do anything. “

Colton typically greets store customers with “Good morning and welcome to Walgreens.” how are you today? “

But just days later, Colton told Al Jazeera these are not phrases you can say again 19 fourth graders and 2 teachers Shot dead at Rob Elementary School in this tight-knit Texas town America’s deadliest school shooting in a decade.

“I hugged my parents when they came in,” Colton said. “I just cried with them”

She added that the store was as busy as ever, but it was almost silent. “It’s so quiet. It’s just so quiet.”

A memorial to the victims of the Rob Primary School mass shooting has been erected outside the school [Veronica G Cardenas/Reuters]

Colton’s situation is a small example of how tragedy can happen Residents’ lives have changed Everyone seems to know someone in this predominantly Latino town affected by tragedy.

This Heartbreak is obvious everywhere.

On Thursday, residents said it was another heartbreaking example of the impact of the shooting on residents, Joe Garcia is dead of heart attack. His wife of 24 years, Irma Garcia, was one of two teachers killed at Robb Elementary School two days ago.

Aftershocks of the shooting are unfolding emotional cost On everyone at Uwald, Colton said. “This is an emotional loss for all of our employees.”

Fraser Engelman, Walgreens’ senior director of external relations, told Al Jazeera in an email that the company’s thinking and everyone were affected.

“We provide counselling and other care to our team members at Uvalde and we have a shop near the school. We also work closely with the local community, donating supplies and helping families [affected],” Engelman wrote.

Colton said it was such a small community where everyone grew up with those in tragedy. “That’s why I’m so glad that other Walgreens store employees . . . came to help,” she said.

Colton said dozens of Walgreens employees from other community stores in Texas have traveled to the city to help, and Uvalde Walgreens employees have been able to take time from work to be with loved ones and grieving.

Workers are from San Antonio, New Braunfels, Laredo and Eagle Pass, said Aimee Lusson, director of pharmacy and retail at the South Texas Walgreens store.

“We just got a ton of support — from people as far away as Dallas-Fort Worth. We had a lot of people saying I could come right away,” said Lussen, who flew to Uwald from San Antonio.

It’s a similar story for other chain restaurants and shops on Main Street—the central business center that bisects the town of 16,000 residents.

Eighteen of the 30 employees working at Texas-based fast-food chain Uvalde Whataburger on Thursday were from other towns in South Texas — mostly from Eagle Pass, Del Rio and San Antonio.

Inside the store
Chain employees from across Texas travel to Uvald to give local employees a break, including a Starbucks employee from nearly 332 kilometers away [John Savage/Al Jazeera]

“Man, this is so helpful. We’ve been busy and we’re telling employees if they need to go home, and they’re going home anyway,” said a Whataburger employee, who asked to remain anonymous, citing company policy.

“We have a lot of high school students working here and they need time to deal with this,” he added.

On Friday, Ivan Montalvo, 27, manager of a Starbucks store in Eagle Pass, a town on the U.S.-Mexico border about 96 kilometers (60 miles) south of Uvald, took a A team of 10 employee volunteers brought to the Uwald Starbucks. help.

A worker was from the town of Victoria, Texas, nearly 332 kilometers (200 miles) away.

“We’re all here to help as much as we can,” Montalvo said.

Colton said that support is making a dire situation a little better. “It shows how much people care.”

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