Uvalde's Two Funeral Homes Had the Exact Same Response When It Came Time to Bury the Shooter
The shooter who killed 19 students and two teachers at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, before being killed by a Border Patrol tactical team did not receive any sympathy from local funeral homes.
According to the San Antonio Express-News, the small town of Uvalde has just two funeral homes: Hillcrest Memorial and Rushing-Estes-Knowles Mortuary.
When it came time to arrange funeral services for the shooter, neither one of them wanted to do it.
The shooter was killed after carrying out a massacre on May 24, 2022. Three days later, the Bexar County medical examiner conducted an autopsy on his body.
But instead of being given to the family, the body was stored in a morgue for weeks as the family family fought over what to do with his remains, Uvalde County Justice of the Peace No. 4 Eulalio “Lalo” Diaz Jr. told the Express-News.
“It took three, three and a half weeks to get him released to the family,” Diaz said. “They were fighting with each other.”
In addition to issues with the family, both funeral homes in Uvalde refused to hold services for the shooter. Diaz also serves as the “de facto coroner” for Uvalde County, and he told the Express-News about the issues he encountered.
“Once they got to him, the funeral homes in town said, ‘We don’t want to deal with him,’” Diaz said. “I had to store him for three weeks.
“As the funerals for the victims were going on, I was still dealing with what to do with him. It was a stressful time.”
Rushing-Estes-Knowles managing funeral director Taylor Michelle Massey said her funeral home did not want to arrange services for the shooter because of concern for the his victims’ families.
“All of our staff grew up in Uvalde County and attended school in Uvalde County and believe that everyone deserves a dignified and respectful funeral service,” Massey said. “However, in the weeks following the shootings of May 24, we were caring for 17 families … through what is probably the most difficult time in their lives.
“Under the circumstance, we did not feel it would be appropriate or in the best interest of the families for which we were caring to take custody of the remains of the individual that caused their pain.”
After about three and a half weeks, Castle Ridge in Crystal City, Texas, agreed to handle the services, at which point the body was given to his family. Crystal City is about 40 miles south of Uvalde.
The shooter was ultimately cremated in downtown San Antonio, the Express-News reported.
While Diaz was eventually able to make arrangements for the body, he said the saga is far from over. The autopsy records of the shooter and his 21 victims may take up to a year to be completed.
The delay is due in part to the surge of illegal immigration under the Biden administration, the Express-News reported. In addition to the 22 autopsies from the tragedy at Robb Elementary, the Bexar County medical examiner had to conduct 53 autopsies for immigrants who died from heat and thirst in a tractor-trailer during what was considered “the country’s worst immigrant smuggling incident.”
“That’s 75 extra people added to their normal workload,” Diaz said. “We’re three months in, and all I’ve got is the preliminary reports.”
The entire situation in Uvalde has been a tragic disaster, from the pathetic police response to a severe backup in the medical examiner’s office. Sadly, the families of the victims are having to wait even longer to receive closure on the deaths of their loved ones.
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