Nineteen students and two teachers were near to celebrating the end of the school year at Robb Elementary School when a gunman stormed in and began fire, snatching their lives and devastating a nation.
Tuesday’s atrocity in Uvalde, Texas, took place within one fourth-grade classroom. For hours, families waited in anguish to discover whether their loved ones had survived.
Relatives embarked on the painful chore of providing DNA swabs to help police determine whether their family member was among the victims.
As of Wednesday morning, at least five families have stated they got sad news. Here’s what friends and families want everyone to remember about the folks they lost:
Amerie Jo Garza
For seven hours, Angel Garza rushed to find his 10-year-old daughter, Amerie Jo. He asked for the public’s help on Facebook.
“I don’t ask for much or seldom even post on here but please It’s been seven hours and I still haven’t heard anything on my love,” Garza wrote. “Please help me find my daughter.”
On Wednesday morning, Garza offered a terrible update.
“Thank you everyone for the prayers and aid trying to find my baby. She’s been found. My little sweetheart is now flying high with the angels above,” Garza said.
“Please don’t take a second for granted. Hug your family. Tell them you adore them. I love you Amerie jo. Watch care your infant brother for me.”
A fourth-grade teacher, Eva Mireles, was also killed at the school, her aunt Lydia Martinez Delgado told CNN.
Mireles had been an instructor for 17 years. Erica Torres recalls the compassion with which Mireles handled her son Stanley, who has autism, while he was in her third- and fourth-grade courses. In an effort to discourage him from wandering around the campus, Mireles put Stanley in charge of picking up children to get to class.
“She made you feel like she was simply teaching your child,” Torres added. “Like there are no other students but him. She made you feel so good.”
In her spare time, Mireles enjoyed jogging, hiking, bicycling, and being with her family, according to her profile on the Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District’s website.
Delgado never anticipated such a catastrophe would affect her family, she told CNN station KSAT.
“I’m upset that these shooting(s) continue,” the aunt told KSAT. “These children are innocent. Rifles should not be widely available to all. This is … my hometown, a little community of less than 20,000.”
His mother, Felicha Martinez, spoke to The Washington Post about the honor roll ceremony that her son, Xavier Lopez, who was 10 years old at the time, had attended just hours before he was murdered.
Martinez grabbed a picture of her son, who was in fourth grade at the time, and told him she loved and was proud of him. That was to be the final moment that she would spend with her “mama’s son.”
Felicha Martinez, whose voice was shaking as she spoke, told the Post, “He was playful, never serious, and his smile…” “That grin is one that will stay with me forever. It never fails to put a smile on everyone’s face.”
According to his mother’s statement to the Post, Xavier was counting down the days until he would officially move up the academic ladder and enroll in Flores Middle School in Uvalde. He was only a few days away from finishing his final year of elementary school.
According to what she claimed, “He really couldn’t wait to go to middle school.”
CNN was informed by members of the family of Uziyah Garcia, 10, that their fourth-grader was one of those who perished in the shooting at Robb Elementary.
An uncle named Mitch Renfro said that Uziyah embodied the phrase “full of life.” He was a huge fan of video games and anything that moved, and he was survived by his two sisters.
Garcia’s grandfather, Manny Renfro, was quoted as saying to a CNN affiliate that KSAT that his grandson was “the sweetest little guy that I’ve ever known.” “I’m not saying that simply because he was my grandchild,” the grandmother explained.
Uziyah’s most recent trip to see his grandfather was during the spring break trip they took to San Angelo. Renfro can’t believe how quickly his grandson picked up on the sport when they were playing catch with a football together.
“We started playing catch together, and I instructed him on various pass patterns as we were doing it. He was such a nimble little guy, and he caught the ball with such dexterity, “Renfro recounted. “There were some plays that I would call and he would remember, and he would do it just like we practiced” “There were certain plays that I would call and he would remember”
Jose Flores Jr.
His father, Jose Flores Sr., told CNN that his son, Jose Flores Jr., was among those slain at Robb Elementary School. Jose Flores Jr. was 10 years old.
The student in the fourth grade was a wonderful young man and a wonderful big brother to his two younger brothers, according to Flores. Both baseball and video games were Jose’s favorite pastimes.
“He was never lacking in vitality,” Flores remarked of him. “Ready to play until the wee hours of the morning.”