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“We shouldn’t have had to have 21 funerals”: Family members react to newly released Uvalde school shooting report

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Nikki and Brett Cross are still in disbelief after 10-year-old Uziyah Garcia was among the 19 children and two adults who were killed in the May 24 massacre at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas. He was their nephew who lived with them, and they considered him to be their son.

On Sunday, Texas lawmakers released a report that found “systematic failures and egregious poor decision making” contributed to the failures in the Uvalde shooting response.

The Crosses told CBS News’ Lilia Luciano that they feel that failures highlighted in the report contributed to the death of Uziyah.

“The police failed us. The school system failed us. Those failures costed our son his life,” Brett Cross said.

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Multiple police body camera and school security camera footage from the shooting was released following the report. Brett Cross said watching the footage was the “worst thing” he has seen in his entire life. 

“We shouldn’t have had to have 21 funerals. We should have been having a parade for the fallen heroes that took care of our babies,” he said. 

Texas School Shooting Vignettes
Uziyah Garcia’s cross stands at a memorial site for the victims killed in the shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, May 27, 2022.

Dario Lopez-Mills / AP


After reading some of the nearly 80-page report highlighting inaction and confusion by an armed force of almost 400 responding officers, the Crosses are calling for accountability. 

“I’m glad that it’s coming out so that we can see all the failures, but I don’t know if it’s going to help because nobody is taking accountability,” Brett Cross said.

Nikki Cross tearfully recounted how Uziyah wanted to become a police officer before he was killed. 

“He wanted to be the one thing that failed him,” she said. 

To honor Uziyah, the Crosses made a memorial at home built with some of his favorite things, including a water bottle that was returned to them by the school and had markings of the shooting. 

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Uziyah’s water bottle was returned to the Crosses after the shooting.

“I don’t think we ever get out of the feeling that this could just be a bad dream that we’re having and that tomorrow I’m going to wake up and it’s not going to be true,” Nikki Cross said.

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