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9-year-old's picture circulated among Texas shooting victims but she survived and is recovering

9-year-old's picture circulated among Texas shooting victims but she survived and is recovering

The 9-year-old was shot in the shoulder and also suffered injuries from bullet fragments hitting her right leg and tailbone.

Trigger warning: This story contains themes of gun violence that some readers may find distressing

A 9-year-old's picture was circulated among victims of the shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, but it has been confirmed that she did survive the shooting. Kendall Olivarez was severely injured in the shooting but survived, contrary to social media posts claiming she had passed away. The confusion came after her picture was circulated among photos of other victims from the shooting. Her family confirmed to ABC10 that she is recovering from her injuries. The 9-year-old was shot in the shoulder and also suffered injuries from bullet fragments hitting her right leg and tailbone. She is now recovering at a hospital in San Antonio. A relative revealed that she survived because her teacher, who was shot, fell on her and shielding the girl from more damage. 



 

 

“I think she's doing the best that she can, her condition is stable and good but she has a long recovery," said Melissa Abeyta, Kendall's cousin. Abeyta said the girl was left traumatized after the incident and is still coming to terms with what happened. “She's just very sad, she's very aware of what transpired and she's very aware of her classmates that are no longer with her, and that's made her incredibly emotional," she said.



 


Last week, an 18-year-old walked into the elementary school and opened fire at children aged between 7 and 11. The shooter killed 19 children and two teachers at the Uvalde school. Some students who survived the shooting said they covered themselves in blood and played dead to avoid getting shot. A few others hid and stayed silent as they heard screams from their classmates.



 

 

Multiple children called 911 begging dispatchers to "send help now" but police reportedly were delayed in their response. Kendall's family said they are aware it could have been a lot worse. A GoFundMe campaign has been started by her aunt, Jennifer Olivarez, to help the family with Kendall's medical expenses and therapy treatment. "She will be needing several surgeries until she is completely healed. All donations to my niece will be greatly appreciated and will go towards her long road to recovery," wrote her aunt. The page has raised over $123,000 to date.

UVALDE, TEXAS - MAY 29: The Peña family visit a memorial for the victims of the Robb Elementary School mass shooting at the City of Uvalde Town Square on May 29, 2022 in Uvalde, Texas. 19 children and two adults were killed on May 24th during a mass shooting at Robb Elementary School after man entered the school through an unlocked door and barricaded himself in a classroom where the victims were located. (Photo by Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images)

 

Texas Governor Greg Abbott said the state would provide help to those injured and the loved ones of those affected by the tragedy. "Everyone in Uvalde has been profoundly impacted by this tragedy and is overwhelmed with deep grief and bewilderment, and as such, both state and private providers are coming together to offer assistance to everyone in the community," said Abbott in a statement. "Texans are stronger when we stand together in times of hardship, and all of Texas stands with the community of Uvalde."

UVALDE, TEXAS - MAY 30: People visit a memorial for the 19 children and two adults killed on May 24th during a mass shooting at Robb Elementary School on May 30, 2022 in Uvalde, Texas. Visitations for Amerie Jo Garza and Maite Rodriguez, two of the 19 children killed in the May 24th Robb Elementary School mass shooting are being held today. Wakes and funerals for the 21 victims will be scheduled throughout the week. (Photo by Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images)

 

The governor and other GOP leaders have come under heavy criticism over inaction against restricting access to guns. As he approached the memorial at Robb Elementary School on Sunday, the crowd booed the governor. “Please Governor Abbott, help Uvalde county,” one onlooker shouted. “We need change! We need change, governor!” chanted many, reported The Hill. While people have been calling for gun control measures, Abbott and countless GOP members are adamant the problem is not guns. “There are an array of health issues that relate to those who commit gun crimes. Anyone who suggests we should focus on background checks instead of mental health, I suggest to you it is mistaken,” he said. A Morning Consult and Politico poll conducted a day after the Uvalde shooting showed that 88% of respondents supported background checks on all gun sales.



 

 

If you're struggling to cope with grief, and need help, please reach out to Crisis response at 1-800-203-CARE (2273)

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