Mother of Uvalde park shooting victim calls for better protection for local children

‘How did all this happen? We were in shock,’ mother says

Almost a month after a second shooting rocked the Uvalde community, the mother of one of the shooting victims is advocating for changes to protect their kids.

UVALDE, Texas – Almost a month after a second shooting rocked the Uvalde community following the tragedy at Robb Elementary on May 24, the mother of one of the shooting svictims is advocating for changes to protect their kids.

Two teens were shot at Uvalde Memorial Park on Sept. 8. Four people were later arrested in connection with the shooting.

The mother of one of the shooting victims is joining other moms in her community in calling for changes to keep kids safe.

“We’re a blended family. We adopted Bruce and Evan. We’re, you know, we’re their godparents,” Irene Mungia said.

A blended family of five, mother Irene Mungia couldn’t be more proud of her kids, especially Bruce.

“He graduated from college before he graduated from high school,” Mungia explained.

Bruce Brown, 18, works as a welder. He takes care of his younger siblings and helps his adopted mom and dad.

“He was going to go pick up his brother that day, and he just he wasn’t able to make it,” Mungia said

On Sept. 8, police descended on Uvalde Memorial Park after what they described as a gang-related shooting.

“Get the story straight. You know, I’m here to say my son is not -- he’s not gang-related. He’s not a gang member, none of that,” Mungia said.

She said her son was in the wrong place at the wrong time, and he paid for it.

“He was shot in the chest. His -- the bullet went through his lung. So it came in here and went out right next to his vertebrae. So his vertebrae was -- it has a fracture,” Mungia said.

Bruce spent days at BAMC after the shooting broke one of his ribs.

He’s home now, still recovering with his siblings at his side, a fact Mungia says she doesn’t take for granted.

“My son was wearing his ‘Uvalde Strong’ shirt,” Mungia said. “They literally were there for him, like they saved him, or it was a miracle or something. But we were so close to losing him.”

Mungia says there aren’t enough law enforcement officers patrolling Uvalde’s parks.

KSAT 12 stopped by her daughter’s soccer practice at another park in the area and saw one constable drive past.

Mungia believes more needs to be done for the children of Uvalde.

“We need change. We need better things for our kids. We need, you know -- we need protection for our kids,” she said.

Part of the change Mungia is asking for is healthy activities for kids to participate in so they stay out of trouble.

At a previous city council meeting, Mayor Don McLaughlin announced plans are in the works to build a youth and family recreation center and a Boys and Girls Club. No timeline has been announced yet for either of those projects.

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About the Authors:

Leigh Waldman is a news reporter at KSAT 12. She joined the station in 2021. Leigh comes to San Antonio from the Midwest after spending time at a station in Omaha, NE. After two winters there, she knew it was time to come home to Texas. When Leigh is not at work, she enjoys eating, playing with her dogs and spending time with family.

Adam Barraza is a photojournalist at KSAT 12 and an El Paso native. He interned at KVIA, the local ABC affiliate, while still in high school. He then moved to San Antonio and, after earning a degree from San Antonio College and the University of the Incarnate Word, started working in news. He’s also a diehard Dodgers fan and an avid sneakerhead.