‘He was just a loving little boy’: the victims of the Texas school shooting
Nineteen children and two adults were killed on Tuesday when a gunman attacked Robb elementary school in Uvalde, Texas
As the United States woke up to the horrific aftermath of its latest mass school shooting in which a gunman killed 19 children and two adults after storming into an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, the first details of the victims emerged.
A law enforcement official said all victims were inthe same fourth-grade classroom.
Uziyah Garcia, eight
Eight-year-old Uziyah Garcia was identified by his family as one of the children killed in the school shooting attack.
“The sweetest little boy that I’ve ever known,” Garcia’s grandfather, Manny Renfro, told the Associated Press. “I’m not just saying that because he was my grandkid.”
Renfro said Uziyah last visited him in San Angelo during spring break.
“We started throwing the football together, and I was teaching him pass patterns. Such a fast little boy, and he could catch a ball so good. There were certain plays that I would call that he would remember, and he would do it exactly like we practiced.”
Xavier Lopez, 10
Lisa Garza, 54, of Arlington, Texas, mourned the death of her cousin Xavier Lopez.
“He was just a loving 10-year-old little boy, just enjoying life, not knowing that this tragedy was going to happen today,” she said. “He was very bubbly, loved to dance with his brothers, his mom. This has just taken a toll on all of us.”
His mother, Felicha Martinez, told the Washington Post that she watched him receive his honor roll certificate hours before the shooting: “He was funny, never serious and his smile – that smile I will never forget. It would always cheer anyone up.” She said he loved soccer and baseball and that art was his favorite subject: “He loved any activity in which he could be creative and especially get to draw … He really couldn’t wait to go to middle school.”
Amerie Jo Garza, 10
Amerie Jo Garza was identified by family as one of the children killed.
Her father, Angel Garza, told ABC News the girl had just turned 10 on 10 May.
“Thank you everyone for the prayers and help trying to find my baby,” Angel Garza wrote to ABC in a statement. “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.
Garza was among several parents who criticised US gun laws.
“We should have more restrictions, especially if these kids [the gunmen] are not in their right state of mind and all they want to do is just hurt people, especially innocent children going to school,” he said.
Jose Flores, 10
Jose’s uncle, Christopher Salazar, said: “He was a very happy little boy. He loved both his parents … and loved to laugh and have fun.”
Eva Mireles, 44
Fourth-grade teacher Eva Mireles, was killed in the shooting. She had worked for the Uvalde school district for 17 years, said the teacher’s aunt, Lydia Martinez Delgado.
A neighbor of Mireles told the New York Post that Mireles “was just a sweetheart”.
“It’s a tragedy that this happened to a person like this,” said the neighbor, who did not want to be identified. “She was the sweetest person and she would take her cute dogs out on walks and she would say hi.”
She was reportedly married to Ruben Ruiz, a police officer, and has a daughter. Delgado said her niece took pride in her teaching, and that she had been told that she was killed protecting her pupils.
“She was the fun of the party,” she said in a statement reported by ABC. “I’m furious that these shootings continue. These children are innocent. Rifles should not be easily available to all.”
Several US media outlets named Irma Garcia as the second adult victim. According to her school profile, Garcia, who was Mireles’s co-teacher, had taught at the school for 23 years and was married with four children. NBC reported that her son had been told by a friend in law enforcement that she too had been shielding her pupils.
Rogelio Torres, 10
Torres has been identified by his family as one of the victims.
“Thank you for the prayers and for trying to help find my cousin, it breaks my heart to say my [Rogelio] is now with the angels. I’ll forever miss you and love you my angel,” his cousin wrote on Twitter.
Makenna Lee Elrod, 10
Kadence Elizabeth identified her sister, Makenna, as one of the students killed.
“My sweet innocent baby sister … my heart will forever break for you my love … I love you with my whole heart kenna wenna. Have fun with your angels up in heaven baby girl,” she wrote.
Tess Marie Mata
Faith Mata mourned the loss of her sister Tess on Twitter, writing: “My precious angel you are loved so deeply. In my eyes you are not a victim but a survivor. I love you always and past forever baby sister, may your wings soar higher then you could ever dream. Till we meet again Tess Marie, love your big siss.”
Annabell Guadalupe Rodriguez, 10
Family members have identified Rodriguez as one of the victims. Her cousin was in the same classroom as her and was also shot and killed.
Ellie Garcia, 10
Garcia’s parents confirmed her death on Facebook, with her father, Steven Garcia, saying, “Our Ellie was a doll and was the happiest ever.”
“It’s hard to issue out a statement on anything right now my mind is going at 1000 miles per hour… but I do wanna send our thoughts and prayers to those who also didn’t make it home tonight!!!” he wrote. “I was gonna DJ for her at her party like she wanted me too!!! Mom and Dad love you never forget that and please try and stay by our side Amor!!!! Send prayers to all UVALDE we really need it!!!!” her father added.
Her mother, Jennifer Lugo, also mourned the loss of her daughter, writing on Facebook: “My heart broken….I don’t know what to do. I feel so numb. I miss you baby!!!!”
Nevaeh Bravo’s cousin, Emily Grace Ayala, confirmed Bravo’s death on Facebook, writing: “Thank you everyone for the prayers, our Nevaeh has been found! She is flying with the angels above. We love you Nevaeh very much princess! Please everyone continue to keep her parents and our family in your prayers.”
Eliahana Cruz Torres
Her grandfather confirmed Torres’s death to ABC, telling the outlet that “she was a beautiful young girl with a lot of energy”. Eliahna’s aunt, Siria Arizmendi, a fifth-grade teacher at Flores elementary school in the same district, told the AP: “She was very happy and very outgoing. She loved to dance and play sports. She was big into family, enjoyed being with the family.”
Jailah Nicole Silguero, 11
Silguero’s mother confirmed her daughter’s death in a Facebook post, writing, “Why why why my baby … Fly high baby grandma n grandpa are with their arms wide open for baby … We’re going to miss you so much my wera Chula my lil side kick,” referring to her daughter as a “pretty blondie” in Spanish.
Jayce Carmelo Luevanos, 10
Silguero’s cousin, Jayce, was also killed in the classroom. In a separate Facebook post, Silguero’s mother posted a photo of her daughter and nephew with the caption: “Fly high my angels… We’re going to miss y’all so much.”
Alithia Ramirez, 10
Ramirez’s father confirmed his daughter’s death on Facebook by changing his profile photo to a picture of Alithia with angel wings.
In an earlier post, her father used the same photo of Alithia and wrote: “Trying to find my daughter Alithia. I called all the hospitals and nothing.”
Jacklyn Jaylen Cazares, 10
Jacinto Cazares, Jacklyn’s father, confirmed his daughter’s death to ABC, saying that his “little girl” was “full of life”. Her cousin, Annabell Rodriguez, was also killed.
“She had the biggest heart. Jackie was the one that would go out of her way to help anyone. It gives me some comfort that she would be the little cracker that would have done something to help her classmates in that very scary scenario,” he said.
Alexandria Aniyah Rubio
Kimberly Mata-Rubio, Alexandria’s mother, mourned her daughter’s death on Facebook, writing: “My beautiful, smart, Alexandria Aniyah Rubio was recognized today for All-A honor roll. She also received the good citizen award. We told her we loved her and would pick her up after school. We had no idea this was goodbye.”
Maite Rodriguez, 10
Felix Coronado, the cousin of Maite Rodriguez’s mother, confirmed her death through a GoFundMe page, calling her a “sweet baby girl”.
“It is with a heavy heart I come on here on behalf of my cousin Ana who lost her sweet baby girl in yesterday’s senseless shooting we are deeply saddened by the loss of this sweet smart little girl. Donations for funeral expenses as well for time away from work to allow her to grieve her loss anything helps God bless and may she R.I.P Maite Rodriguez we love you,” he wrote.
Sam Levin contributed reporting – Via theguardian