UVALDE, Texas — Like the rest of the nation, Dr. John Preddy watched the news unfold about the Robb Elementary School mass shooting in Uvalde.
“It just changed every minute,” he said. “I honestly didn’t believe it.”
On Tuesday, the death toll climbed, and names were slowly released following.
Nineteen children and two teachers died, and several more are hospitalized.
“It was monstrous what was happening,” said Dr. Preddy.
People from near and far have been visiting the memorials set up in Uvalde, dropping off flowers and saying prayers to each victim. The community is hurting, even for those who don’t know the victims personally. But for Dr. Preddy, as a physician in Uvalde for 30 years, he knows several of the victims.
He points at one of the 21 white crosses near the courthouse. “This is Nevaeh Bravo.” She was one of his pediatric patients.
Dr. Preddy takes a few steps to another cross. “Rojelio Torres.” Another one of his patients.
He said he delivered Bravo and Torres when they were born. He’s known them since their parents heard their first heartbeats and has taken care of their health for the last decade.
“What they had to go through is incomprehensible to me," said Dr. Preddy.
“There’s a lot of love for you, and we all miss you, and I mean, I hope they’re in a better place now than they were,” he said.
Dr. Preddy holds on to the last ten years of watching the students grow.
He said two more people he knows are currently at the hospital in San Antonio. He is hopeful they will survive their gunshot wounds.
As for Bravo and Torres, Dr. Preddy wishes he could watch them thrive for many more years to come, but their lives were cut short that terrifying day at Robb Elementary School.
He said, “You just feel numb.”