In Testimony Pleading for Gun Safety, Sister of Uvalde Victim Says She's 'Terrified ... to Go Back to School'

Jazmin Cazares, 17, lost her 9-year-old sister, Jackie, in the Uvalde shooting

Jazmin Cazares, Jackie Cazares
Photo: Eric Gay/AP/Shutterstock; Facebook

It has been one month since the mass shooting at Robb Elementary School that killed 19 students and two teachers in Uvalde, Texas.

In the weeks following the shooting, the small community has processed the shock and sadness of the lives lost, as well as anger at the delayed police response that allowed the gunman to be in the school for more than an hour before being confronted by officers.

On Thursday, the sister of one victim testified before lawmakers at the Texas State Capitol in Austin, pleading for gun safety legislation.

Jazmin Cazares, 17, lost her 9-year-old sister, Jackie, in the attack.

"This morning around 5:30 a.m. I sat on my sister's bed and I cried, I cried and I cried," she told lawmakers, according to the Texas Tribune. "[Then] I wiped my tears, got in my car and drove four hours to get here. I shouldn't have to be here right now. I should be at home watching a movie with my sister — it's summer."

"Having to go back to school next year, I don't know, it's a really big decision and going to school shouldn't have to be a big decision, but it is," Cazares continued. "I'm terrified for my life to go back to school. I have senior year and that's it. Am I going to survive it?"

"I'm here begging for you guys to do something," Cazares said, choking back tears. "I'm here to honor Jackie, her friends, their families, my family and my community. You can honor them, too, by passing gun safety legislation."

After Cazares finished speaking, members of the house of representatives commended her courage and asked her questions about Jackie.

Jazmin Cazares, Jackie Cazares
Eric Gay/AP/Shutterstock

"She loved singing and dancing and acting," Cazares said, noting that she was wearing a photo of her slain sister on her shirt. "She was an exact copy of me as my little sister. She wanted to go to Paris for graduation. I'm graduating in 2023 and I hope to go for her."

State Representative Victoria Neave Criado thanked Cazares for her testimony. "There's a lot more that we should be doing as the Texas Legislature, and I think you touched on some of those issues: the red flag laws, the gun safety legislation that sometimes people don't want to talk about. We have to, which is why I want to thank you for raising that issue on behalf of your sister."

The school district in Uvalde has opened an official account with First State Bank of Uvalde to support Robb Elementary families affected by the tragedy. People can send checks through the mail (payable to the "Robb School Memorial Fund") or donate money through Zelle to People can also donate by calling 830-356-2273.

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