Uvalde shooting is especially difficult for Detroit Lions for Josh Reynolds

Josh Reynolds was relaxing in his hotel room after the first day of organized team activities when news of the Uvalde school shooting rang his phone on Tuesday.

Immediately, Reynolds called his mother, Michele.

Reynolds, in his second season with the Detroit Lions, grew up in San Antonio, about an hour east of Uvalde. He remembers participating in AAU basketball events around the city, but not at Robb Elementary, where a sniper killed 19 students and two teachers in the deadliest school shooting in the United States. since Sandy Hook in 2012.

Michele Reynolds is an assistant principal at Taft High School in San Antonio who spent years teaching at another high school in the district.

Whenever a school shooting occurs, Josh’s thoughts race to his mother.

“Instantly,” he said. “And how brave she is. And selfishly, I wish she wasn’t brave, but selflessly, she has to protect the children. You don’t want a child going to school and having to tell his parents that he I’m not coming back.”

Reynolds said his first phone call to his mother didn’t go through, but he had a brief text exchange with her later that day.

This weekend, he plans to fly home to Texas to visit family for Memorial Day.

“You never think it’s going to happen in your area until it does,” Reynolds told the Free Press on Thursday. “I haven’t been able to tell any of my family about this yet, but I know it puts fear in everyone’s heart whether you’re from Texas or not, because it can literally happen to anyone. where and everywhere. So it’s just a difficult situation. Not a good situation.

Six months after Lions and the local community were galvanized by a shooting at Oxford High School which killed four students and injured seven others, Reynolds said he was trying to figure out how to help the victims of the latest massacre.

He’s hosting his annual soccer camp on July 3 in San Antonio and said he could potentially use it to benefit Uvalde.

On a broader level, Lions could focus one or more of their annual “Inspire Change” initiatives, the program dedicated to distributing charitable contributions to causes important to players, issues related to school violence and/or army.

Ten days before the Uvalde shooting, on May 14, a gunman killed 10 people and injured three in a racially motivated attack on a grocery store in a predominantly black neighborhood of Buffalo, New York. A day later, a shooting at a church in Laguna Woods, California, left one dead and five injured.

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“When I got up this morning and started driving, the only thing that hit me was those shots,” Lions defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn said Thursday. “Man, this is so disturbing, the first one that happened in Buffalo, then the one that happened recently in Uvalde. My God, and the only thing I can think of is – and I actually heard someone ‘un say this, this morning I thought it That was such a true statement is you guys are 21 and this is the first time they can buy a beer But, man, they allow an 18 year old to buy assault rifles.”

Both Glenn and Reynolds said they had the answers on how to stop the mass casualty events. But Glenn, from Texas, said: “I know there are high-level people who need to understand these things.”

Reynolds said his hope is “for people to just love each other and respect humanity.” He said teachers shouldn’t have to worry about protecting their students from gun violence, and after never having to practice active shooting drills as a kid, he said he felt for them. children who endure them regularly now.

“It’s sad when that becomes the norm,” he said. “We have to find a way to change that.”

Contact Dave Birkett at dbirkett@freepress.com. Follow him on Twitter @davebirkett.

Charles P. Patton