Local Uvalde newspaper stuns with ‘POWERFUL’ cover in response to mass shooting

(Video Credit: MSNBC)

Sometimes there are no words to convey loss and that powerful message was articulated perfectly by the Uvalde Leader-News on Thursday as the media publication reported on the aftermath of the Robb Elementary School massacre, where an 18-year-old psychopath took the lives of 19 students and two teachers.

The front page of the paper was printed in solid black with Tuesday’s date in white swimming in a sea of darkness. It was meant to be a forceful statement to memorialize the children and teachers who perished at the hands of an evil individual who shot and killed them without mercy. The image immediately went viral on social media.

The twice-weekly paper has been in print in Uvalde since 1879. The small town of approximately 16,000 residents is located about 50 miles from the Mexican border.

MSNBC reporter Jose Diaz-Balart showed the front of the paper at the beginning of his show on Thursday, noting, “There is so much pain, among so many.” He marveled at the paper’s message as he reported live from Uvalde, “a town marked by profound grieving and profound disbelief.”

Inside the paper on the first ten pages, normal news was displayed including reporting on graduations, taxes, local elections, weather, and sports. The paper reported that three collegiate rodeo athletes qualified for the National Rodeo Finals in what would have been a normal week if not for the slaughter that had just occurred.

The tragedy was shunned on those pages except for the announcement of a blood drive at the civic center on Saturday where there is an urgent need for donors, especially those with Type O blood. There was also an advertisement for the Robb School Memorial Fund that was established by the First State Bank of Uvalde. An ad for the Uvalde Honey Festival, which had been scheduled for June 10 through 11, was canceled without explanation.

But the last two pages of the 12-page newspaper told a vastly different story and reported on the massacre at length.

Under the headline, “City’s Soul Crushed,” the back page of the paper shows photos of children being pulled out of the school through windows, and a teacher running to safety after the last of her students were evacuated from the building.

Another story shows the shooter’s abandoned pickup truck that had crashed into a ditch and a rifle believed to be the killer’s, sitting on top of a duffle bag on the ground next to the passenger door.

The school district’s graduation ceremonies, which had been scheduled for Friday, have been reportedly postponed according to the newspaper as well.

“My heart is broken,” Hal Harrell, the district’s superintendent, told the paper. “We are a small community and we are going to need your prayers to get through this.”

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