Final Victim of Uvalde Shooting, 'Sweetest Little Boy, Is Buried

Families, community have a long process ahead of them, experts say
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 25, 2022 4:00 PM CDT
Final Victim of Uvalde Shooting, 'Sweetest Little Boy, Is Buried
Uziyah Garcia's cross stands at a memorial site for the victims killed at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas.   (AP Photo/Dario Lopez-Mills)

Funeral services were held Saturday for Uziyah Garcia, 10, the final victim of the mass shooting in Uvalde, Texas, to be buried. The funeral took place at Immanuel Baptist Church in San Angelo, where the boy lived until last year, the Dallas Morning News reports. Nineteen children and two teachers were killed last month at Robb Elementary School by a gunman. "The sweetest little boy that I've ever known," said Manny Renfro, Uziyah's grandfather. "I'm not just saying that because he was my grandkid."

Uzi, as he was called, loved playing video games, swimming, and jumping on trampolines, per the AP. His grandfather said they started playing catch with a football over spring break, and Uzi was a natural. "Such a fast little boy," Renfro said. Uzi's laugh was contagious, the family wrote in an obituary. With the funerals over, the people of Uvalde will turn to the next stage, experts said, per USA Today. "Families will be faced with the long, difficult reality of life without their loved one," said David Read Johnson, a clinical psychologist in Connecticut. "The community, no longer focused on a specific task at hand, will need to face the harder questions of what comes next for Robb Elementary School, for education and for school safety."

"Grieving is a process," an academic said. "For public health, the more the support for the grieving, the shorter their recovery process and return to their roles in society." Sandy Phillips, whose daughter, Jessica Redfield Ghawi, was killed in the 2012 shooting at a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado, said the process for families can be long. "They're in shock," Phillips said, per USA Today. "They can't think clearly. I could not comprehend things. I was unable to read a book from cover to cover for nine years. And that is not unusual." (More Uvalde mass shooting stories.)

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