Texas shooting: Meghan Markle was ‘offering condolences as a mother’ with ‘peace’ roses tribute to victims

The Duchess of Sussex also visited a nearby community centre supporting mourners, according to reports

Thomas Kingsley
Friday 27 May 2022 10:26 BST
Meghan Markle visits Texas school shooting memorial

Meghan Markle paid tribute to the victims of the Texas school shooting, laying flowers outside of a memorial site near the massacre.

The Duchess of Sussex attended the memorial site with her personal security at the Uvalde County Courthouse on Thursday, not far from where 18-year-old Salvador Ramos gunned down 19 students and two teachers at Robb Elementary School.

Wearing jeans, a white top, and a baseball cap, Ms Markle left the flowers, tied in a purple ribbon while other mourners also paid their respects. She then stood with her arms crossed as she looked at the memorial to the victims.

She approached a cross dedicated to eight-year-old boy Uziyah Garcia, the youngest victim killed in the attack, Ms Markle reached down with her head bowed and placed flowers.

Meghan Markle pays tribute to victims in a surprise visit to the Uvalde memorial site

The visit was unannounced and came as a surprise to mourners and onlookers.

“I had no idea who she was. She just was carrying on a conversation like her and I knew each other for years,” volunteer Gloria Contreras, 40, told BuzzFeed, which first reported Markle's visit to the Herby Ham Activity Center as part of her Uvalde trip.

“We were just talking about, you know, the situation and what happened what we were doing here. I told her about us giving out water to the people and feeding them,” Ms Contreras said.

“I even talked about my personal life, telling her about my son and my family and, you know, coming to Texas because she told me she was from Santa Barbara and I said, “Well, you need to come to Texas!'” added Ms Contreras.

“We were talking about Texas and Uvalde and how it is to be in a small town and how everybody is so kind and warm-hearted and know we know each other and stuff and how the faith is deep-rooted.”

A woman reacts as she pays her respects at a memorial site for the victims killed in this week’s elementary school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, Thursday, 26 May 2022

The duchess dropped off two “large” bags filled with sandwiches, beverages, and desserts for blood donors, reports added.

The Duchess of Sussex lives in California with her husband Prince Harry and their two children. She took the trip to Texas in a personal capacity as a mother to offer her condolences and support in person to a “community experiencing unimaginable grief,” according to her spokesperson.

She also stopped by a Uvalde community center that is hosting a blood drive, where she toured the facility and donated food, according to reports, but did not engage with the press during her trip.

Crosses with the names of Tuesday's shooting victims are placed outside Robb Elementary School in Uvald

President Joe Biden said he will be travelling to Uvalde on Sunday, the White House confirmed on Thursday.

They will meet with community leaders and families of the victims, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said.

“Jill and I will be traveling to Texas in the coming days to meet with the families and let them know we have a sense of their pain, and hopefully bring some little comfort to a community in shock, in grief and in trauma," Mr Biden said at the White House during a signing event for an executive order on police reform.

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