KILLEEN, Texas (June 6, 2022) – This week the City of Killeen is helping transport several hand-made mementos from local residents, to the city of Uvalde, following a tragic shooting which left 19 children and two teachers dead.
Nancy Rodriguez is the Killeen resident who is organizing 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-- he 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 will be pulling off from New Life Apostolic Church (4712 East Rancier Avenue) at 8a.m. on June 8. Prior to the departure, there will be a prayer and travel blessing at 7:45a.m. and a press conference for all media at 7:30a.m.
Any Churches or citizens wanting to provide tribute cards or any other memorial items, can do so at 7a.m. at the church that day.
The Killeen Police Department is coordinating to provide an escort within Killeen, as the group heads out of town.