(UVALDE, Texas) — Uvalde parents entered the school where their children were killed almost a year ago for the first time on Thursday.
Nineteen children and two teachers were killed on May 24, 2022, at Robb Elementary School, making it the site of the second-deadliest school shooting in American history.
The visit comes as the small Texas community prepares to mark the one-year anniversary since the rampage, in which the shooter was killed by law enforcement more than an hour after he began firing in two classrooms.
For months, some parents have requested access to visit the school, which has been closed since the massacre. At first, they were denied permission due to an ongoing criminal investigation. But early this year, officials told ABC News that the parents could be allowed to visit — providing that the details could be worked out with the school district which still owns the property.
The district plans to build a new elementary school less than three miles away from the original building. Plans on the demolition of Robb Elementary have yet to be announced.
Uvalde:365 is a continuing ABC News series focused on the Uvalde community and how it forges on in the shadow of tragedy.
In the wake of the shooting, some parents have become advocates of gun reform in the state, including pushing a measure to raise the age to purchase semi-automatic rifles like the one used by the 18-year-old gunman.
Uvalde families have also spoken out against the law enforcement response during the shooting. It took 77 minutes for any of the nearly 400 law enforcement officers assembled that day to confront the killer.
Several parents have also said they were physically held back by officers and even handcuffed to prevent them from running into the school to rescue their children during the attack.
Last fall, the Uvalde school district suspended the entire district police force amid continued criticism of the law enforcement response to the shooting.
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