ODESSA, Texas (KMID/KPEJ) – Locals are showing their solidarity with the community of Uvalde by offering words of support and their condolences.
“We offer our condolences and lift them up in prayer because this isn’t an easy time,” said Odessa resident Janae.
Janae and her son, Chase, are spending their afternoon together at Memorial Garden Park in Odessa. They know that hundreds of miles away, families in Uvalde are facing heartbreak, just days after a mass shooter claimed the lives of 21 innocent people.
“I think it’s important we come together as family, not even blood family, but family as a community and support each other,” Janae said. “During this time we support them. And we pray for them.”
Reporter Rob Tooke spoke with other locals at Memorial Garden Park who share a similar sentiment and have a message for Uvalde residents.
“We want you to know that you are in our hearts here in Odessa, Texas,” said Odessa resident Claudia.
Siblings, Bubba and Brianna, are thinking of those families and students who survived the horror and who lost loved ones.
“I’ll just say, stay strong and keep your head up,” Bubba said.
“Don’t give up and just know that they are looking down on you and they’ll forever be in your hearts,” Brianna said.
In Big Spring, Dylan Archer-Pauchet is planning a candlelight vigil for this upcoming weekend.
“When I first heard of the shooting, it literally broke my heart,” Dylan said.
Dylan is a substitute teacher in Big Spring ISD. Dylan said he has a daughter who will enter into the 6th grade the next school year.
“For this to happen to kids around her age, as a parent, that’s scary for me,” Dylan said.
As a devout Christian, Dylan said prayer is very strong. He wants to do something in his community of Big Spring to show support for Uvalde.
He’s organized and planned a candlelight vigil for 8:30 P.M. on Saturday. It’s set to happen at the Heart of the City Plaza in Big Spring, across from the Howard County courthouse. Dylan is inviting local musicians to play at the vigil. He asks that members of the public bring their friends and family to join them in prayer.
“I just want us to show our support for a fellow Texas town that has been rocked by this attack,” he said.
Because of potential fire danger, Dylan said he encourages anyone to bring a flameless candle to the vigil instead of traditional candles with wicks.