Nicole Hockley learned about Tuesday’s massacre during a meeting at the organization she co-founded nearly a decade ago after her 6-year-old son was shot and killed at Sandy Hook Elementary. Manuel Oliver learned about it while he was in his home office, planning what he would do next to bring more attention to his 17-year-old son, who was shot dead at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. Alex Wind learned about it on a bus trip to New York, where he was headed to attend a wedding and take a break from the daily fight for gun reform he’s sought since he hid in a Parkland, Fla., classroom closet, listening to the gunshots that ended 17 lives.

The tears and nausea and breath-stripping pain would come for all of them in the hours ahead, but for Hockley, the numbness arrived first.

“How are you doing?” asked her Sandy Hook Promise co-founder, Mark Barden, whose 7-year-old son was also killed in the Connecticut shooting.

“I just feel empty,” Hockley told him.

She had endured what so many families in Uvalde, Tex., were about to face.

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