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'You will leave with your heart broken' | Uvalde community reflects one week after shooting at Robb Elementary

"It's never gonna go back to normal again," said Uvalde native, Jay Martin. In the last seven days, the downtown plaza transformed into a memorial.

UVALDE, Texas — One week has passed since Uvalde changed forever. Emotions are still raw.

Parents and children are still processing the reality of unspeakable evil that entered Robb Elementary School.

Many tell us their emotions haven't changed since this happened. Heartbreak, fear and anger is still fresh in the minds of Uvalde residents.

But there's also gratitude for the support and prayers from strangers.

"It's never gonna go back to normal again," said Uvalde native, Jay Martin.

In the last seven days, Uvalde's downtown plaza transformed into a memorial.

TV reporters and photographers set up their tents to deliver the most devastating news.

The eyes of the world transfixed on Uvalde.

21 crosses surround the plaza's water fountain. It's a place for families, friends and visitors to reflect and pray for the innocent lives taken.

Uvalde resident Viviana Plata bought flowers, but says her heart isn't ready to lay them at either memorial.

"Never, never as a parent do you imagine that you will see a day that you will not be able to pick them up safely at school," she told us in Spanish. "You will leave with your heart broken."

Plata has three children. Two are younger than the students who were killed at Robb Elementary. She says she's still processing the tragedy.

"You still feel the sadness. Wherever you go, you feel the attention, the fear, but we pray to God that peace will soon come to this town," said Plata.

For many parents, they're still trying to begin the healing process.

"It's gonna be a long, hard road ahead," Martin explained.

Martin says he heard the first gunshots at the school from three blocks away.

"With all the other mass shootings going on, that was one of the first things that popped up in my head. 'That sounded like it was by the school, let's go check it out'. Sure enough it was," he explained.

Martin says his 12-year-old daughter had Eva Mireles as her fourth grade teacher. He's hoping Mireles and Irma Garcia can be remembered with a permanent memorial outside the school in honor of those who died.

"Put a little fountain outside with the two teachers standing there with the kids playing in the water," he explained with hope.

Tuesday, outside the El Progreso Public Library in Uvalde, we witnessed a symbol of hope in the making.

"I wanted kids and adults to recognize the characters and get excited" said artist, Robin Adams, who drew a "Uvalde Strong" mural outside the library featuring characters like Curious George and Clifford the Big Red Dog. Each character, she says, teaches lessons of acceptance and encourages children to read -- the perfect escape.

Adams, who is from Seguin, packed her bags and drove more than 100 miles Tuesday to the library.

"I'm wherever God wants me," Adams explained when asked about her trip to Uvalde. "Sometimes when God knocks, you better answer that door or He's just gonna keep knocking."

Her work brought a smile to so many children who need it.

"After tragedies in our area, we tend to come together and try to bring some joy to the world," said Adams.

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