Uvalde school shooting victim honored with portrait by Austin artist

An Austin artist is leaving a mark on a hurting town. Almost three months since the Robb Elementary School shooting, a mural of the victims is being painted in Uvalde.

"You literally feel like you can walk up to him and hug him," artist Ruben Esquivel said.

After coming up with a design concept, using hundreds of spray bottles, and painting for hours and hours, Esquivel created an 18-foot portrait of a perfect angel, 10-year-old Jayce, who was killed in the shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde.

"The fact that I’m a part of this story now really has very little to do with it, it’s more meaningful is that I have this connection with his family now that will last forever," Esquivel said.

Esquivel said it was a powerful experience. "This was a heavy project and these feelings were expected, so to feel them, be with them, and you know, keep going," he said.

He said he had to keep going because this was for Jayce's family. Through Jayce's family, Esquivel found out more about Jayce and included those memories in the painting.


"One of the things about Jayce is that he loved making coffee for his family in the morning, so I had to include a cup of coffee,' Esquivel said, 'The paper plane, he also, I’m not going to get emotional, he also loved to write love letters to his family all the time and would sign them with ‘I love you,’ so the paper plane is his last send off, his final letter to his family and it has ‘I love you’ in his handwriting written on the plane." 

It's now etched in the community forever and a reminder of the love Jayce left behind.

"I wanted to create a space with them where they could come and spend time with Jayce, talk with him, feel his presence, somewhere where they could be with him whenever they felt like they needed to," Esquivel said.

Jayce's portrait is right next to his cousin Jailah's, who was also killed in the shooting.