Mothers mourn children killed in Texas school shooting: ‘I lost a piece of my heart’

(UVALDE, Texas) — The mothers of Rojelio Torres and Tess Mata, two 10-year-olds killed in the Texas elementary school shooting, spoke with ABC News about their heartbreak.

“Two of my sons go to that school, but I only got one back,” said Evadulia Orta, the mother of Rojelio and three other children.

At least 19 children and two teachers were killed after a gunman opened fire at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, west of San Antonio, according to the Texas Department of Public Safety. Rojelio was described by his mother as a “very smart and loving child.”

“I’m going to miss him because he was my life,” said Orta. “All my kids are my life, but losing that little piece of my heart, I lost my son.”

Several families were left waiting at a local civic center to hear whether or not their children had survived the attack. Among them were Orta as well as Veronica Mata, the mother of 10-year-old Tess, who was killed.

Tess’ father, Jerry Mata, was originally at the school, desperate to go inside and find his daughter, but was held back by law enforcement. At the civic center, law enforcement corralled all the families that still had missing children and had them wait.

The family says dozens of people were waiting in one big room, pacing and crying for hours before being called up by law enforcement and notified.

Orta said she was waiting for her child to be bussed to the civic center until the last bus came: “They said, ‘There’s a bus coming, there’s a last bus coming.’ It never came.”

She checked hospitals near Uvalde and in San Antonio, but there was no word of her son.

The Mata family says they are angry nothing has been done by politicians to prevent such shootings, and they say they haven’t gotten any information from police about the investigation into the attack.

Their daughter Tess is described by the family as a bubbly little girl who loved to dance and had dreams of being TikTok famous.

“She deserves to be remembered,” Veronica Mata said. “She put a smile on everybody’s face every time she was always dancing. She always had the biggest smile ever. So I want her to be remembered, for the awesome little girl that she was.”

ABC News’ James Scholz and Nery Ynclan contributed to this report.

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