- Matthew McConaughey gave a moving speech against gun violence at the White House.
- The Uvalde native also displayed a pair of shoes worn by a girl killed in the Texas school massacre.
- McConaughey said the shoes were the only thing that helped identify 9-year-old Maite Rodriguez.
While speaking against gun violence at the White House on Tuesday, Matthew McConaughey showed off a pair of shoes worn by a 9-year-old girl killed in the recent school shooting in Uvalde, Texas.
The actor, who lives in Uvalde, said the shoes – a pair of green Converse high tops – were the only thing that made Maite Rodriguez’s body identifiable. Rodriguez was one of 21 people killed in the May 24 shooting at Robb Elementary School.
“Maite wore green Converse high tops with a heart she had drawn by hand on her right toe because they represented her love of nature,” the actor said, asking his wife, Camila Alves, to hold the shoes.
“It was the same green Converse on his feet that turned out to be the only clear evidence that could identify him after the shooting,” McConaughey said, pounding the White House lectern angrily as he choked. ” And that ? »
McConaughey also recounted how he met Rodriguez’s mother and stepfather and learned of a letter she once wrote about her desire to become a marine biologist.
According to McConaughey, the letter read, “Marine Biologist. I want to graduate from school to go to my dream college. My dream college is in Corpus Christi, by the ocean. I have to live next to the ocean because I want to be a marine biologist.”
“Marine biologists study animals and water. Most of the time I will be in a lab. Sometimes I will be on television,” he added, quoting the letter.
McConaughey said Rodriguez’s mother told him that if the letter could help someone else achieve his dream, his “death would be impactful” and would not have been “unnecessary.”
The actor also said Rodriguez cared so much about the environment that his mother turned down an offer to release balloons in his memory because “Maite wouldn’t want to throw it away.”
In his statement to reporters, McConaughey also explained how he met with a cosmetologist following the purchases, whose job it was to make the victims “appear as peaceful and natural as possible” for their funerals.
He said the bodies needed “extensive restoration” due to “unusually large exit wounds from an AR-15 rifle”, which was the weapon used in the shooting by the 18-year-old shooter.
“Most of the bodies were so mutilated that only DNA testing or green Converse could identify them. Many children were left not just dead, but hollow,” McConaughey said.
Immediately after the shooting, relatives of those involved were asked to provide DNA samples to help identify the victims.
McConaughey has been an outspoken figure in support of gun reform following the tragedy in his hometown and is now calling on senators to take action on gun safety.