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Matthew McConaughey visits his hometown of Uvalde, Texas, to pay respects

The actor visited his hometown after passionately calling for change in the United States.
/ Source: TODAY

Matthew McConaughey returned to his hometown of Uvalde, Texas, following Tuesday’s mass shooting at Robb Elementary School that killed 19 children and two teachers.

TODAY confirmed that McConaughey visited Uvalde to pay his respects to members of the community.

Texas Rep. Tony Gonzales tweeted pictures of McConaughey, 52, visiting the community on Friday. 

“This week was a solemn reminder that evil exists in the world, but we will never let it break us,” Gonzales wrote. “We’ll unite to be an even more powerful reminder that love never fails & together we can change things.”

He then added, “Appreciate Uvalde native Matthew McConaughey helping us heal."

In a follow-up post, Gonzales thanked McConaughey again and wrote that his presence “brought so many smiling faces to Uvalde.”

McConaughey stopped by the Uvalde Civic Center on Friday, according to NBC News

His appearance in his hometown followed a heartfelt message calling for an end to gun violence that was shared on his social media accounts on Wednesday.

“We cannot exhale once again, make excuses, and accept these tragic realities as the status quo,” McConaughey wrote. “As Americans, Texans, mothers and fathers, it’s time we re-evaluate, and renegotiate our wants from our needs. We have to rearrange our values and find a common ground above this devastating American reality that has tragically become our children’s issue.” 

The actor referred to mass shootings as “an epidemic we can control.” 

At the end of the letter, he said, “And to those who dropped their loved ones off to school not knowing that today was goodbye, no words can comprehend or heal your loss, but if prayers can provide comfort, we will keep them coming.” 

McConaughey was one of many public figures who used social media to express their condolences and call for change.

NBA superstar LeBron James offered his thoughts and prayers on Twitter.

“There simply has to be change! HAS TO BE!!” he wrote. “Praying to the heavens above to all with kids these days in schools.” 

Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr passionately addressed the shooting in a pre-game press conference on Tuesday.

“When are we going to do something?!” Kerr asked, shaking with emotion, in a clip uploaded to the team’s Twitter account. “I’m so tired of getting up here and offering condolences to the devastated families that are out there. I’m so tired … of the moments of silence. Enough!”

After the shooting, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott confirmed in a news conference that the gunman was suspected to be an 18-year-old man who attended a nearby high school. The man was fatally shot by police after the massacre.

The Uvalde school shooting occured one day after the FBI released new statistics that showed active shooter incidents in 2021 increased by more than 50% from 2020 and by nearly 97% since 2017.