(NewsNation) — Tony Montalto knows the pain of parents who lost children in the shooting at Robb elementary school in Uvalde, Texas all too well.
He lost his daughter, Gina, during a shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, spurring him to found Stand With Parkland, which focuses on public safety reforms.
“The news out of Texas this week was devastating to all the families that founded Stand with Parkland,” he said. “It brought us right back to the terrible day in February of 2018, when many of us found out that our children were murdered in their school.”
Another aspect to the shooting that brought back memories were allegations of a slow response to the Texas shooting by Uvalde police officers. Frustrated onlookers reportedly had to urge police officers to charge into Robb Elementary school the day of the shooting. One parent, Javier Cazares, whose daughter, Jacklyn Cazares, died in the attack, said he thought about running into the school himself because the “cops aren’t doing anything like they are supposed to.”
A similar story played out in Parkland — according to the New York Times, there was widespread criticism for Scot Peterson, an armed sheriff’s deputy who heard the gunfire, but failed to run in and stop the massacre.
“It sadly has a lot of similarities to what happened in Parkland,” he said. “Any delay when children’s lives are at stake is too long. And we know that current training is to address the threat immediately and stop the stop killing.”
Now, Montalto said more needs to be done to address school safety, to make sure that people who are “troubled” do not have weapons, in a way that does not affect people’s Second Amendment rights.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.