A young woman cries, Tuesday, May 22, 2018, by a memorial for Santa Fe High School freshman Aaron Kyle McLeod who was killed Friday during a shooting at the school, in Santa Fe, Texas. (Marie D. De Jesus/Houston Chronicle via AP)

The Latest: Texas victim's mother speaks out for gun control

May 23, 2018 - 7:34 pm

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — The Latest on the mass shooting at a Texas high school (all times local):

6:35 p.m.

The mother of one of the students killed in last week's school shooting is voicing her opposition to unfettered gun rights.

Rhonda Hart, the mother of 14-year-old Kimberly Vaughan and a military veteran, tells The Associated Press she thinks Texans who want to buy guns should be subject to the same rigors as a person who wants to seek an abortion, including a mandated weeklong waiting period and counseling.

Hart says that she supports arming teachers with only non-lethal weapons, such as pepper spray.

She says she has received calls and emails from Sen. Ted Cruz and Sen. Tammy Duckworth's office. She says she hopes to work with Duckworth on alternative ideas to secure schools. In posts on Facebook she has encouraged her fellow service members to speak up on behalf of her daughter.

Hart says, "they messed with the wrong mom."


6 p.m.

Texas is convening its third and final day of discussions on ways to curb future school shootings.

This time, it's inviting around 30 students, parents, teachers and administrators of Santa Fe high school, where a gunman killed 10 people last week.

Gov. Greg Abbott announced Wednesday that joining that group at a round table at the state Capitol will be five people associated with a November church shooting in the town of Sutherland Springs that killed more than two dozen people.

They include a gun owner who lived near the church and shot at and chased the gunman who eventually shot himself.

Discussion will shift to victims' perspectives. Earlier in the week it focused on fortifying schools and better tracking student mental health, as well as hearing from advocates on both sides of the gun control debate.


2:30 p.m.

The Houston Rockets will wear patches on their jerseys to honor the victims of the school shooting in Santa Fe, Texas, on Thursday night in Game 5 of the Western Conference Finals against the Golden State Warriors.

The patches which will read, "Santa Fe HS," and are one of several things the team plans to do as a tribute to those affected Friday's shooting that left 10 dead at the school about 30 miles from downtown Houston.

The high school's choir will perform the national anthem and there will be a moment of silence and a video tribute prior to tipoff to remember the victims.

Santa Fe's senior class and its administrators have been invited to attend the game as guests of owner Tilman Fertitta.

The Rockets will also honor first responders who helped in the wake of the shooting, and proceeds from Thursday night's charity raffle will go to the Santa Fe Strong memorial fund.


12:20 p.m.

A Texas school district says it will be holding a graduation ceremony as planned for the high school where 10 people were killed during a deadly shooting last week.

In a letter on Tuesday, Santa Fe School District Superintendent Leigh Wall said that Santa Fe High School's graduation will be held at 7:30 p.m. on June 1 at Joe Raitano Memorial Stadium.

Wall said that the district will later provide additional information to students on academics, campus activities and end of the year procedures.

Teachers returned to work on Wednesday. Students are set to return to classes on May 29.

Wall said while officials would like students back in school "we realize that there are students, staff and families who need time for grieving and mourning."


11:35 a.m.

A church group will host a gathering at a football stadium to honor those killed and injured during a Texas high school shooting.

The Santa Fe Highway 6 Ministerial Alliance says it will host "A Night of Hope and Healing" at 7 p.m. Wednesday at the Santa Fe Junior High School football stadium.

The alliance said in a Facebook post that the event will include "worship, words of encouragement and prayers for all of the families who are grieving."

Eight students and two teachers were killed and 11 more were injured in the shooting Friday at Santa Fe High School. A 17-year-old student is being held on capital murder charges.


10:55 a.m.

Teachers have returned to work at a Texas high school where 10 people were killed.

Santa Fe High School instructors and support staff returned to campus on Wednesday, four days after the mass shooting that left eight students and two teachers dead.

Leigh Wall, the superintendent of the district about 30 miles (50 kilometers) southeast of Houston, said in a letter to parents Tuesday that teachers and support staff will be working to prepare for the return of students next Tuesday.

Students on Wednesday were being given another opportunity to retrieve personal belongings from the school.

Authorities say a 17-year-old student carried out the attack. He faces murder charges.


12:01 a.m.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott's meetings on school violence and safety have promised to wade into the thorny issue of gun control with the next round.

The Republican has been a staunch supporter of gun rights and worked to expand them in the state in recent years.

He called for a series of high-level policy meetings after a high school near Houston became the latest to have a mass shooting. Eight students and two teachers were killed last week at Santa Fe High School and more than a dozen wounded.

Wednesday's meeting will include representatives of gun control group Texas Gun Sense and the Texas State Rifle Association, which is affiliated with the National Rifle Association.

But the gun-related groups are just two of the two dozen invited to attend.

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