Uvalde School Shooting

‘Hug Your Kids Every Day': Emotional Father of Surviving Child Speaks About Shooting

"Like we always say, hug your kids every day — every morning when they go to school, or after school... whenever you get the chance"

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Tuesday's mass shooting at a grade school in the town of Uvalde, Texas, left 21 people dead, including 19 children.

Guadalupe Lieja, whose eight-year-old son survived the shooting at Robb Elementary School, spoke to NBC's Kerry Sanders about the experience.

"I know most of the families, and you know... on Monday I had seen one of the kids — my son plays baseball, so they play against each other, and I'd just seen him play..." an emotional Lieja said.

The 18-year-old gunman was killed in the attack. The shooting was the deadliest at a U.S. school since a gunman killed 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut, in December 2012.

Hours after Tuesday's attack, families were still awaiting word on their children. At the town civic center where some gathered, the silence was broken repeatedly by screams and wailing. “No! Please, no!” one man yelled as he embraced another man.

Matthew McConaughey took to Instagram on Tuesday to address the tragedy that hit so close to home for him. "Action must be taken so that no parent has to experience what the parents in Uvalde and the others before them have endured," he wrote.

Lieja said it was hard to make sense of such an act of violence.

"I don't know what to tell you. Just, you know, like we always say, hug your kids every day, every morning when they go to school, or after school. You know, just do it, every day, whenever you get the chance," he said.

"We're a small community, and we will need your prayers to get us through this,” Hal Harrell, the Uvalde CISD superintendent, said following Tuesday's mass shooting.
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