A boy who was injured during the Uvalde shooting went to school for the first time after the tragedy. On May 24, AJ Martinez was at school when he was shot through the thigh while hiding under bags. The gunman was shot down after he killed two teachers and 19 students at Robb Elementary in Uvalde, Texas, reports CNN.
He observed the gunman enter his classroom and heard him say, “Goodnight,” to his instructor before unleashing a barrage of gunfire from his assault-style weapon. AJ also heard police officers outside in the corridors throughout the 77-minute period between when the gunman entered the small-town school and when he was killed.
That day, AJ left school with someone else’s blood on his face, most likely from lying on the floor among the dead and injured. He’s been depressed, furious, and terrified since then. He’s also had extensive physical treatment.
However, he went back to school with the start of a new academic year. He told the outlet, “I slept good.” He was wearing a maroon t-shirt with the photos of his two teachers, Eva Mireles and Irma Garcia, and the 19 children who were killed in the attack. The t-shirt had the words, “My teachers and classmates forever,” printed on it. Robb Elementary is no longer in operation, and its students have been dispersed throughout different schools and virtual learning. The graduating fourth students were always prepared to relocate, yet it is still difficult.
Uvalde: Student AJ Martinez, hurt in Robb Elementary massacre, goes back to school https://t.co/qdZmNfqn1n
— Shimon Prokupecz (@ShimonPro) September 6, 2022
AJ said, “I’m nervous because I’m not used to this school.” However, it was his decision to go back to in-person school, according to his mom Kassandra Chavez. She is still scared after the horrific tragedy her son faced. She said, “I’m just nervous. I’m just trying to be there supporting him. That’s all I can (do).”
Chavez donned a “Uvalde Strong” T-shirt in remembrance of the victims and those who remained. Many of the staff at AJ’s new school were likewise dressed in Robb Elementary’s maroon and white. AJ was unsure whether he would make new friends at his new school, Flores Elementary. When he was questioned about the children on his shirt, the ones who won’t be able to return to school, his smile faltered for a brief second.
Wearing maroon today in support of all Uvalde families. Praying for all students and staff as they return to school. May school become a safe haven for these beautiful children again. #UvaldeStrong pic.twitter.com/O4LeQcNIHd
— Ed Gonzalez (@SheriffEd_HCSO) September 6, 2022
She told the outlet that whenever he grew furious that he won’t be able to see his teachers and classmates again, she tried to give him advice. She told him, “You have to be strong. Because that’s what they would want you to do. Remember them, carry their legacy, like they would want you to do.”
So, with their photographs proudly displayed on his chest, AJ dressed for school. And he headed into fifth grade with the thrill and uncertainty of any first day.