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Survivors of the shooting at the school of Uvalde, the families are still looking for answers 1 year later: “It goes through my head in a loop”

For Andrea Herrera, who survived last year’s mass shooting in Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas is an everyday fight. Not only was she there the day 19 children and two teachers were killed, but her 10-year-old half-brother, Jose Flores, also lost his life in the adjacent classroom.

Herrera is still struggling with the haunting memories.

“It keeps coming back to me, like the same thing over and over again,” Herrera said.

She thought she might see Flores and give him a hug after the attack, but instead cried when she learned he didn’t survive the shooting.

Flores’ comings and goings that day continue to trouble her, and she wonders how scared he must have been in class. His mental health and grades have deteriorated since the shooting, according to his mother, Cynthia.

The Herreras have considered leaving, but the memory of Jose keeps them attached to Uvalde.

Tensions in the city also increased as families of the victims demanded greater responsibility for the actions that day. Despite the district investing millions of dollars to beef up security measures on all public school campuses, including installing fencing and 600 security cameras, some families say not enough progress has been made.

Brett Cross lost 10-year-old Uziyah Garcia and refuses to give up his fight for answers and change. He led efforts at the local, state and federal levels, demanding accountability for failures that day.

“If I quit, I’m useless,” Cross said. “Uvalde doesn’t want to be known as Uvalde anymore, you know they don’t want it to be, ‘Oh, we’re known for Robb Elementary.’ But the fact is you are, because our school failed. Because our cops failed. Because our government failed. And you want me to stop? I lost the kid. I didn’t nothing else to lose.

One of the most egregious failures was the belated response from law enforcement. It took 376 officers from more than 20 agencies a staggering 77 minutes to walk through the classroom door and arrest the shooter. The breakdown of trust between the community and law enforcement is deeply felt by some.

Cross said it was “infuriating” to be watched by the same officers who were there the day of the shooting.

“There were officers in there who could have ended it…but they were told to stand down. And they listened,” he said. “And then you see them, you get arrested by them.”

“It’s infuriating…because now I’m looking someone in the eye who heard our kids screaming, who heard the shooter reload and didn’t rush in there,” he said.

In an attempt to restore confidence, Uvalde Mayor Don McLaughlin recently hired an out-of-town deputy police chief. However, like the families of the victims, he awaits the results of the criminal investigation from the local prosecutor. The delay in receiving updates from the district attorney’s office discouraged him.

“As mayor and I think I’m speaking on behalf of the county judge as well, I’m not going to throw it all at the prosecutor. But in a year I’ve had no briefings, not one,” McLaughlin said. .

CBS News has reached out to Uvalde District Attorney Christina Mitchell about the criminal investigation. She said it was still in the hands of the Texas Rangers and once she received their findings, her office would review them and present any potential charges to a Uvalde grand jury.


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