August 14, 2022


Gov. Greg Abbott did not attend funerals for any of the Uvalde shooting victims

4 min read
Gov. Greg Abbott did not attend a single funeral for any of the 19 children or...

Gov. Greg Abbott did not attend a single funeral for any of the 19 children or two teachers killed mass shooting at Robb Elementary School shooting in Uvalde, Texas on May 24, according to his schedule, which was obtained through an open records request by ABC News. 

Abbott’s schedule from May 25 to June 14 indicates that his last visit to Uvalde was on June 5 to attend a community worship event at the Uvalde County Fairplex. However, missing from the schedule is any mention of Uvalde victim funerals. The last funeral held in Uvalde for victims was on June 16, when 11-year-old Layla Salazar was laid to rest. 

In a Monday interview with MSNBC, state Sen. Roland Gutierrez, who represents Uvalde, criticized Abbott for not returning to the South Texas town, and alleged that Abbott has not been back since May 29 when President Joe Biden also visited a public vigil in Uvalde, rather than June 5 as the governor’s schedule suggests. 

“I don’t want this to sound like some political assault on him, but at the end of the day he hasn’t been there since Day 5, when the president came… We had a failed response on giving resources to families,” Gutierrez said. “He did not go to one single funeral—and quite honestly, many of the families didn’t want him there.”

Gutierrez’s statements align with recent statements from some of the shooting victims’ families. During a July 13 news conference, Angel Garza, father of 10-year-old victim Amerie Jo Garza, alleged that “since this happened, Gov. Abbott has yet to reach out.” Garza added that Sen. Ted Cruz, who also attended some prayer vigils for victims, similarly failed to reach out to victims’ families.

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“We’ve had Sen. Gutierrez in our living room, willing to come and talk to us,” Garza said. “We’ve had Beto O’Rourke coming to our private meeting to fight with us. He marched with us. That means something to us. The fact that you’re reaching out just to see how we’re doing means something to us.” 

Representatives for Cruz said the senator planned to meet with families of the Uvalde shooting victims this past Thursday, but that the families ultimately canceled the meeting.

Garza continued in a direct appeal to Texas voters: “Everybody that’s getting ready to vote, I want you guys to know that. These guys don’t have compassion for us. They don’t care. [Abbott] doesn’t care that all these children were murdered and these teachers were murdered. Y’all need to realize that.”

In recent interviews, Uvalde Mayor Don McLauglin said that he has repeatedly called on Abbott to return to Uvalde to speak with grieving family members. During a press conference Sunday, McLaughlin said he had not heard from the governor in four weeks.

During a July 14 press conference, when asked whether he planned to meet with grieving families soon, Abbott responded, “I’ve been there multiple times to Uvalde for multiple purposes. Sometimes for public presentations, sometimes for grieving events and different things like that and I will be going many more times.”

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In an emailed statement, Renae Eze, spokesperson for Abbott, wrote: “Governor Abbott has been to the community multiple times, visiting with every family who requested a meeting and joining his fellow Texans to grieve and worship at events into June. Many families requested private funerals, and the Governor and First Lady instead sent flowers and condolences to let the loved ones know they remain in their prayers.”

Eze said Abbott and his office have remained in “regular contact” with McLaughlin and Uvalde leaders, adding they speak “on almost a daily basis” to ensure the Uvalde community is receiving support and resources. “Every request made so far by the victims’ families and local leaders have been met, including providing a $5 million grant to be used at the discretion of local leaders for the long-term Family Resiliency Center,” Eze wrote. 

Correction: Governor Abbott visited Uvalde, Texas on June 5 for a 6 p.m. community worship event at the Uvalde County Fairplex, per his official schedule. A previous version of this story stated that the governor’s last visit to Uvalde was May 29.  

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