Two 10-year-old students and a fourth-grade teacher are among the first victims to be identified in Tuesday’s deadly mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas.
The massacre at the school left at least 19 children and two adults dead, with many others injured. Responding officers fatally shot the gunman at the school.
Robb Elementary, which is part of the Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District, teaches students in the second through fourth grades.
“What happened in Uvalde is a horrific tragedy that cannot be tolerated in the state of Texas,” Republican Gov. Greg Abbott said at a news briefing Tuesday.
Here are the names of the victims and their stories:
Amerie Jo Garza, 10
Fourth grader Amerie Jo Garza had just won an honor roll award on Tuesday. The morning was filled with celebration before her death just hours later.
In an interview with The Daily Beast, Garza’s grandmother Berlina Irene Arreola described her as a model student who called 911 during the shooting.
“My [granddaughter] was shot and killed for trying to call 911, she died a hero trying to get help for her and her fellow classmates,” Arreola wrote to The Daily Beast.
“So the gunman went in and he told the children, ‘You’re going to die.’ And she had her phone and she called 911. And instead of grabbing it and breaking it or taking it from her, he shot her,” Arreola added. “She was sitting right next to her best friend. Her best friend was covered in her blood.”
Arreola described Amerie Jo as someone who was “looking forward to making a life for herself,” The Daily Beast reported. She turned 10 years old just two weeks before the shooting, her father Angel Garza told ABC News.
According to KSAT-TV, Garza wrote a message about his late daughter on Facebook:
“Thank you everyone for the prayers and help trying to find my baby. She’s been found. My little love is now flying high with the angels above. Please don’t take a second for granted. Hug your family. Tell them you love them. I love you Amerie jo. Watch over your baby brother for me.”
Robb Elementary teacher Eva Mireles was killed while trying to protect her students after a gunman walked into the school and opened fire, The New York Times reported.
Mireles had been a teacher for 17 years and was in her 40s, per The New York Times. In a staff bio on the Robb Elementary website, Mireles wrote that she had a “supportive, fun and loving family.” She also mentioned that her family included a school district officer, whom she identified as “Ruiz,” and a “college graduate daughter,” Adalynn.
Her aunt, Lydia Martinez Delgado, told the Times that Mireles was a hiker who was proud to teach at a school with mostly Latino students.
In a statement sent to KSAT-TV in San Antonio, Delgado said she was furious that these mass shootings continued to target innocent children:
“My niece, Eva Mireles, approximately 17 yr teacher for UCISD along with another teacher and 18 children lost her lives to a senseless tragic shooting.
I’m furious that these shooting continue, these children are innocent, rifles should not be easily available to all.
This is a my hometown a small community of less then [sic] 20,000. I never imagined this would happen to especially to loved ones. not all the facts have been released yet all we can do is pray hard for our country, state, schools and especially the families of all.”
Xavier Lopez, 10
The family of 10-year-old Xavier Lopez, a fourth grader at Robb Elementary, identified him as one of the 19 children who died in Tuesday’s shooting, KSAT-TV reported.
Lopez, along with his mother, attended an awards ceremony for students at the school that morning.
This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.