Local officials lend their condolences to the 21 victims of Tuesday’s mass shooting in Uvalde at Robb Elementary School that left 19 children and two teachers dead and at least 17 people injured.

U.S. Representative Troy Nehls did not release an official statement but put emphasis on mental health and increasing police officers in schools as opposed to gun reform laws.

“We need to make mental health a priority in this country, otherwise despicable attacks on our children like the elementary school shooting in Uvalde will only continue,” Nehls said in a Twitter post.

Nehls has not been in favor of gun reform laws as he voted no on bills that would’ve required background checks for all gun sales and increased the waiting period for federal background checks for firearms on March 11, 2021.

County Judge KP George did not express any position but offered thoughts and prayers to the victims.

“Words can not express the heartbreaking and shocking nature of the event that occurred today,” George said. “Our children go to school to learn in a caring and safe environment. The horrific actions of this single individual, once again, serve as a reminder, that even in our efforts to keep our schools safe, there are those who wish to inflict harm on the most vulnerable amongst us, our children.”

Fort Bend ISD Superintendent Christie Whitbeck also issued a letter to students and staff following the tragedy.

“We want to assure you that the safety of our students, teachers and staff is always our top priority,” Whitbeck said. “And while no one can ever guarantee that nothing tragic will ever occur in any setting, we hope you will be able to take comfort in knowing our dedicated police department and robust safety measures are in place and are there ready to protect and serve every student and staff member in Fort Bend ISD. Just last night district leaders were engaged in a previously-planned workshop focused on future goals, which included additional safety measures. This is an ongoing priority to seek best practices to keep our children and staff safe.”

State Senator for District 18 Lois Kolkhorst also issued condolences.

“Words are inadequate and time will never heal the wounds of this senseless act. Only God can,” Kolkhorst said. “We pray for the grieving parents, family, friends and the entire community of Uvalde. Darkness and evil is ever-present in this world. That is what we must fight.”

State Representative for House District 26 Jacey Jetton sympathized with those affected as a young parent.

“As a parent of young children, we trust our children will come home from school safely each and every day,” Jetton said. “The tragic, heinous act of one mentally ill individual has tragically ended the lives of 14 children.”

State Representative for House District 28 Gary Gates tagged school districts to offer armed officers throughout their campuses after offering prayers to the victims.

“Demand your school district have an armed police officer at every campus, every day that children are present,” Gates said.

State Representative for House District 85 Phil Stephenson was in disbelief over Tuesday’s actions.

“I cannot understand the evil that resides in the heart and soul of someone who would attack children and fellow human beings in such a cowardly and craven manner,” Stephenson said. “I pray that God will comfort the Uvalde community, especially those who lost loved ones today.”

The First State Bank of Uvalde has opened a Robb School Memorial Fund for the families of Robb Elementary.

Donations can be made at any First State Bank locations, by check or via Zelle.

Checks must be mailed out to 200 E. Nopal St., Uvalde, TX 78801.

Electronic donations must be donated to robbschoolmemorialfund@gmail.com.

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