WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — Across the country, people are mourning the 19 elementary school children and two teachers killed at Robb Elementary School.

This shooting came only 10 days after the mass shooting in Buffalo, New York. These senseless acts of violence have gripped the nation and us right here at home.

“Perilous times have come; it is truly unbelievable what is happening in the world today,” Pastor Kile Bateman of Evangel Church said. “We live in a fallen world where good and evil coexist.”

On Tuesday, 19 children went to school eager to finish out the year, but sadly they would never make it home. That’s after a gunman stormed Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, armed with an AR-15 and carried out a shooting that claimed the lives of 19 students and two teachers.

Pastor Kile Bateman of Evangel Church said living in times where going grocery shopping or to a movie or even to school is unsafe has made him realize that above all, prayer is what we need.

“It’s times like these we don’t have words to say, we don’t have solutions, nothing makes sense, all we can do is call upon the name of the Lord to heal our land, and prayer is more powerful than we can imagine,” Bateman said.

The shooting, which is the 27th school shooting in 2022, has sparked conversations surrounding Texas’ very loose gun laws. Its also sparked conversation on mental health, and clinical supervisor for Helen Farabee Lauren Hargrove said that’s an important conversation to be having, too.

“If you notice that someone is withdrawing or isolating or not being a part of things for any reason, just reach out to that person, say ‘Hey, you know I noticed you haven’t been around. You okay? Wanna talk?'” Hargrove said.

Because while this tragedy happened only 400 miles away from Wichita Falls, they were still our neighbors.

“It may not be in our community, but we can still feel it,” Hargrove said. “We are parents, we are children, we are professionals, all of those things connect us.”

“Those beautiful children, on their last day of school, what should’ve been a day of celebration, was their last day in this fallen world, and I believe they went right to the arms of Jesus,” Bateman said.

Hug your loved ones a little longer and pray more than ever that change will come so that this is something our country won’t have to go through again.

Helen Farabee has a 24-hour crisis hotline. That number is 1-800-621-8504, and you can call if you need to talk to someone.