Uvalde School Shooting

North Texas Faith Leaders, Police Assist in Uvalde

Communities unite and head to Uvalde where they assisted in helping the town that experienced the state's worst school shooting on Tuesday

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As the Uvalde community reels from the deadly mass shooting at an elementary school, support and resources from North Texas continue to pour in.

This week, a number of North Texas police departments have deployed members to assist in Uvalde where 19 children and two teachers were killed at Robb Elementary on Tuesday.

Lake Worth Police Department has sent two members so far, according to Sgt. Sean Ferguson.

“Their main responsibilities right now are patrolling and VIP security, so the Mayor, Police Chief, things like that. The officers, just giving them an opportunity to take a nap and not worry about the streets and taking care of the community, because we’re doing it for them,” Sgt. Ferguson said. “This tragedy is unimaginable. If this were to happen in our community, I would hope that we would have the same outpouring and support that they have.”

Grapevine and Fort Worth police departments have also deployed members to assist, according to their social media accounts.

In Fort Worth, Pastor Kyev Tatum with the New Mount Rose Missionary Baptist Church arrived on Wednesday and returned Friday night. Pastor Kyev said he plans to return after the holiday weekend.

 “Coming back after seeing everything I had seen, I asked the Lord to give me strength to provide them with the right assistance that they need,” Pastor Tatum said. “I saw pain, grief on top of grief on top of grief.”

Tatum said he met with other faith leaders and plans to set up a “compassion bowl”, which sets up churches as hubs as distribution sites.

“Whether it’s supplies or whether it’s mental health treatment or whether it’s other kinds of things that are going to be long-term in nature,” he said. “The entire community was victimized because they know each other. They go to church together. They play softball together. It’s a small community.”

John-Travis Smith, Associate Executive Director of the Texas Baptist Men, said about ten of their members are currently assisting in Uvalde. One of their goals is to help local churches with resources to help in the coming months and years, he said.  

Not just natural disasters but unfortunately, manmade disasters are unfortunately things that we respond to,” Smith said. “As outside communities move on, it’s hard for them to deal with something so personal for them. Then the rest of us - to them, it seems - forgets those things or it moves away from their consciousness - just helping them what that’s going to be like.”

Tatum said his message to his congregation this week will be centered around compassion in honor of Uvalde.

“The political posturing that’s being taken right now is not showing good leadership. The Governor, the Lt. Governor, Beto should have paused for the calls and respect that community and allow them to grieve with dignity and respect, and take the politics. Uvalde doesn’t need politics. Uvalde needs prayer,” he said. “Uvalde doesn’t need any more chaos or confusion, Uvalde needs compassion.”

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