Meghan, Duchess of Sussex visits Texas school shooting memorial site, leaves white roses
An Archewell spokesperson confirmed Meghan's visit to the memorial to USA TODAY. The spokesperson said it was important for Meghan, as a mother herself, to make the trip and extend her condolences and support to the Texas community during this difficult time.
Meghan shares two children with Prince Harry, the Duke of Sussex, 3-year-old son Archie Mountbatten-Windsor, and 11-month-old daughter Lilibet Mountbatten-Windsor.
Meghan was pictured at the memorial site, outside of Uvalde County Court, on Thursday looking pensively at a somber line of headstones. In another photo, the 40-year-old was pictured leaving a bouquet of white roses at the base of one of the memorial headstones.
'We cannot accept these tragic realities:Matthew McConaughey reacts to Texas school shooting
'Tragic and senseless':19 children killed in Texas elementary school shooting; gunman dead
Tuesday's Robb Elementary School in Uvalde marked the deadliest shooting at a U.S. grade school since the 2012 attack at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.
Wearing body armor and firing hundreds of rounds, the 18-year-old gunman killed 19 children and two adults, Texas Department of Public Safety Lt. Chris Olivarez said. Gov. Greg Abbott said one of the two was a teacher. A U.S. Border Protection agent, one of several responding to the scene, shot and killed the gunman, a senior Department of Homeland Security official told USA TODAY on Tuesday night.
Texas Department of Public Safety Sgt. Erick Estrada said the gunman also shot his grandmother before driving to the elementary school, where he was armed with a rifle and overpowered a school officer. Estrada said the grandmother was airlifted to a hospital in critical condition, and Abbott later confirmed the woman had died.
"This was a tragic and senseless event today, and my heart was broke today," said Hal Harrell, the school system superintendent, who said at a news conference that grief counselors would be available and classes were canceled for the year. "We're a small community and we'll need your prayers to get us through this."
Meghan's visit to the memorial site adds to the recent outpouring of heartfelt responses by celebrities to the mass shooting.
Texas native Matthew McConaughey shared a statement on Instagram Tuesday: "As you all are aware there was another mass shooting today, this time in my home town of Uvalde, Texas. Once again, we have tragically proven that we are failing to be responsible for the rights our freedoms grant us."
The actor continued: "The true call to action is now for every American to take a longer and deeper look in the mirror, and ask ourselves, 'What is it that we truly value? How do we repeat the problem? What small sacrifices can we individually take today, to pressure a healthier and safer nation, state, and neighborhood tomorrow?' We cannot exhale once again, make excuses, and accept these tragic realities as the status quo."
Selena Gomez, another Texas native, wrote on social media: "If children aren't safe at school where are they safe? Today in my home state of Texas 18 innocent students were killed while simply trying to get an education. A teacher killed doing her job; an invaluable yet sadly under appreciated job."
Becky G said on Twitter, "ENOUGH IS ENOUGH."
"Just last week a targeted mass shooting at a market in Buffalo and now a school shooting in Uvalde," the singer continued. "Communities should be safe in their grocery stores, our CHILDREN should be safe in class! This has to end. Thoughts and prayers aren’t enough. We need change."
Contributing: N'dea Yancey-Bragg, Trevor Hughes, Chris Kenning and Pamela Avila