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Prayer vigil held in Tampa for 21 killed in Texas school shooting

Officials said a gunman entered Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, and opened fire, killing 19 children and two teachers on Tuesday.

TAMPA, Fla — Tampa Police Chaplains joined Thursday to lead a community vigil for the children and teachers killed in the Texas school shooting this week. 

Reverend Clarence Nathan led the vigil at Lykes Gaslight Park.  

"Though there may be many miles between Tampa and Uvalde, the concerns of parents, children, and the entire community are the same everywhere", Reverend Nathan, who is the Senior Pastor of New Victory Baptist Church and a retired Tampa Police Officer, said in a news release. 

"We must come together as brothers and sisters to show our support and compassion for each other and to keep each other safe."

Tampa Mayor Jane Castor, Police Chief Mary O'Connor, and Democratic Congresswoman Kathy Castor were also in attendance. 

"We're going to reach a point where we were when these tragedies occurred unless we take steps to ensure that they don't occur again," Castor said.

Parents who've lost children and loved ones to gun violence are urging lawmakers to pass sensible gun laws. The tragedies hit home to Patricia Brown.

"I can imagine what the parents are going through because I go through it everyday," Brown said. "I don't want that for anybody no more."

Brown lost her son Devante to a shooting two years ago.

Families who share her grief said they hope lawmakers will finally take action to spare others from the pain they carry. 

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Officials said a gunman on Tuesday entered Robb Elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, and opened fire killing 21 people, including 19 students and two teachers. Texas Department of Public Safety spokesperson Travis Considine said the accused gunman Salvador Ramos shot and wounded his grandmother before attacking the school.

Uvalde is a largely Latino town of some 16,000 people about 75 miles from the Mexican border. Robb Elementary, which has nearly 600 students in second, third and fourth grades, is a single-story brick structure in a mostly residential neighborhood of modest homes.

The attack in the predominantly Latino town was the deadliest school shooting in the U.S. since a gunman killed 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut, in December 2012.

The Associated Press contributed to this article. 

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