KILLEEN, Texas (FOX 44) – The City of Killeen is helping to transport several hand-made mementos from local residents to the City of Uvalde following the mass shooting which left 19 children and two teachers dead.
Nancy Rodriguez is the Killeen resident who organized the event. She and her daughter-in-law, Vickie Valladares, wanted to show their support and sympathy for the families and community members of the victims. They contacted the City of Killeen for assistance.
“This hit close to home and anytime there’s a tragedy like this, the community wants to inject some love into the situation,” said Janell J. Lewis Ford, Executive Director for Communications for the City of Killeen. “The City of Killeen will step up and help however we can.”
It took Valladares nearly a week to create a large, 60 x 40 mural painting of each of the victims. She wanted to include details about each child in her depiction to personalize the artwork. She also included the husband of one of the teachers – who died from a heart attack after dropping off flowers at his wife’s memorial.
Rodriguez has been coordinating and collecting items from the Killeen community over the last week. The items include a wooden art piece with each victim’s name engraved and throw pillows with photos of each victim, as well as an audio recording of each victim within the pillow (approved by the families).
Rodriguez says the Killeen community has also donated funding toward travel, gas and other expenses.
The caravan of tribute items left from the New Life Apostolic Church, located at 4712 East Rancier Avenue, on Wednesday morning. Before the departure, there was a prayer and travel blessing.