Uvalde is a small working-class town about 80 miles west of San Antonio, about halfway between that town and the border with Mexico.
The city of about 15,200 residents is located in a region with a large Mexican-American population, according to census data. Many of the residents were born in the US or have lived in the region for decades.
The city is also home to a US Customs and Border Protection station.
In the Robb Elementary neighborhood, more than 40 percent of residents have lived in the same home for at least 30 years, according to the American Community Survey, a census report that provides more detailed information than the traditional census.
The population is skewed young. More than a quarter of city residents are children, well above the national average, and more than a third live at or barely above the federal poverty line. Representative Joaquin Castro described Uvalde on Twitter as a “wonderful, tight-knit community.”
George Santizo said Uvalde is so small that although he recently moved there, he remembers seeing the suspect in town.
“Everybody knows everybody in this town,” said Mr. Santizo. “I saw it because this town is a small town.”
Alyssa Lukpat contributed.