Breaking News
More () »

'It was hell' | Brother of Uvalde victim reflects on one year without Uziyah Garcia

Jaxon Cross shared a room with Uziyah Garcia, a 10-year-old boy killed at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde. He says it's been hard to live without him.

UVALDE, Texas — It's been one year since Jaxon Cross stepped into Robb Elementary School in Uvalde. The campus is now empty. Soon, it will be demolished and rebuilt nearby. 

Jaxon, 11, still remembers the inside clearly. 

"He was three classes down from my class," said Jaxon, referring to his brother, Uziyah Garcia. 

"I know what his classroom looks like. Every time, I'd walk by and I'd see if he's okay and keep walking. I'd do it every time, every time, back and forth," said Jaxon. 

The classroom where Uziyah took his last breath is forever stained in Jaxon's mind. 

Jaxon didn't go to school on May 24, 2022, the day of the mass shooting. 

"The last time I saw [Uziyah] getting on the bus, I walked away thinking he would just come back," he said. 

He recalls the moment his father, Brett Cross, told him Uziyah was killed. 

"It was hell," said Jaxon.

Now attending Flores Elementary School, Jaxon feels nervous going to class. 

He said, "I'm just really scared and paranoid." 

Cross is scared to send him too. 

"It's terrifying," said Cross. 

Since the massacre, the Texas Department of Public Safety has parked outside of the schools in Uvalde as a layer of protection, but even then, it's not enough to ease the fear of Uziyah's family.

"I'm thankful, but at the same time is why aren't we doing something to prevent this?" Cross asked. "Why do we need to have these officers there? Why are we having to make our children go to essentially prisons for school with gates and guards?"

Jaxon goes home from school each night to a bedroom he once shared with Uziyah. And Uziyah's drawings are taped on a door the 10-year-old once walked through thousands of times before his life ended.

Jaxon pointed at the drawings, "Actually, he never got to finish these two. He was still working on them." 

Jaxon said he's never taking the artwork down.

Uziyah's bed is no longer in the room. The furniture was rearranged for the sake of Jaxon. 

Even though the bedroom is filled with so many things, "It feels empty," Jaxon said. "It's hard to live without him." 

Before You Leave, Check This Out