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Emotional Meghan Markle lays flowers during surprise visit to Texas shooting memorial
26 May 2022, 21:54 | Updated: 27 May 2022, 08:30
The Duchess of Sussex has laid flowers at a memorial for the 19 children and two teachers killed in a school shooting in Texas.
Meghan placed a bouquet of white roses at one of the crosses put up in honour of the victims in Uvalde on Thursday.
A spokesperson for the duchess said she took the trip in a personal capacity as a mother to offer her condolences and support a community in grief.
Meghan was also pictured looking down at the white crosses bearing the names of those who lost their lives to the gunman's rampage at Robb Elementary School.
She laid flowers near the cross of 10-year-old Uziyah Garcia, which had the words "you will be missed" written on it, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Meghan, who lives in California, was not accompanied by husband Harry during her visit.
She was wearing a baseball cap, T-shirt, jeans and trainers.
On Tuesday, 18-year-old Salvador Ramos used a semi-automatic rifle to shoot pupils and teachers in the deadliest school attack since 20 children and six adults were killed at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut, in 2012.
The gunman barricaded himself in a classroom and opened fire until police eventually broke in and shot him dead.
Police in Texas are facing criticism for their response to the incident.
Ramos was inside the classroom at Robb Elementary School for 40 minutes to an hour before he was shot dead, officials said.
During that time he "horrifically and incomprehensibly" murdered 19 children and two teachers.
Families of the victims, many of whom were restrained as they tried to rescue their kids, say they are angry that police didn't storm inside the building.
A survivor, who hid under the table with his friend, told KENS 5 that one of his classmates who yelled out "help" when police arrived was shot dead.
"When the cops came, the cop said: 'Yell if you need help!' And one of the persons in my class said 'help.' The [shooter] overheard and he came in and shot her," the boy said.
The gunman's grandmother, who was shot in the face and remains in hospital, survived the shooting and called police before Ramos headed to the school.
He arrived at the school in Uvalde at 11.30am, crashing his car into a ditch. A school resource officer was at the scene but he failed to stop him from making his way inside.
Ramos shot two officers as he ran into the school, where he barricaded himself in a fourth grade classroom.
Shocking video shows some officers holding parents back, with one even pinned on the floor, as they tried to get inside to rescue their children.
"We're taking care of it!" yelled one officer who was holding parents back from the scene.
Eventually, a border patrol agent was able to get inside the building and the shooting was declared over at 1.06pm, the Mail Online said.