A Girl Who Dialled 911, a Boy Who Loved TikTok: Victims of Texas School Shooting
Nineteen children and two teachers were killed in a horrific school shooting in Texas on Tuesday.
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Ten-year-old Amerie Jo Garza had been trying to call the emergency services from her school in Texas on the morning of Tuesday, 24 May, when she was shot dead. Hours earlier, she had received an "honour roll" certificate in her class.
The fourth-grader was among the first few children to be confirmed dead at the Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas. “My Grand Daughter was shot and killed for trying to call 911, she died a Hero trying to get help for her and her fellow classmates (sic),” Amerie's grandmother wrote in a text message to The Daily Beast.
At least 18 more students aged 8-11 and two teachers died in the deadly shooting that has evoked widespread horror in the United States and elsewhere.
As reports of the attack surfaced on Tuesday, Amerie's father Angel Garza had posted a plea on Facebook for help to find his daughter.
“I don’t ask for much or hardly even post on here but please it’s been 7 hours and I still haven’t heard anything on my love. Please fb help me find my daughter (sic)," he had asked.
Writing on Facebook after her death was confirmed, Amerie's mother, Kimberly Garcia, wrote, "You did not deserve this my sweet baby girl. Mommy loves you, mommy can’t sleep without you. Mommy needs you, Amerie I can’t do this life without you. How am I supposed to live life without you?"
Amerie had celebrated her tenth birthday two weeks ago.
Nearly 500 pupils, most from the Hispanic community, are enrolled at the school.
Xavier, 10, Loved To Dance, Use TikTok
Xavier Javier Lopez, 10, loved to dance and was an avid user of TikTok.
Lisa Garza, his cousin who had last seen him over Easter, said that her family had been devastated to learn about his death. “He was very bubbly, loved to dance with his brothers, his mom," she told news agency AP.
Xavier's family further told the media that his mom was had attended an awards ceremony conducted by his school merely a few hours prior to the shooting.
'Sweetest Little Boy I've Known'
Manny Renfro told news agency AP that he got word on Tuesday that his grandson had died.
Eight-year-old Uziyah Garcia was "the sweetest little boy that I’ve ever known,” Renfro said, adding, “I’m not just saying that because he was my grandkid.”
Renfro said Uziyah last visited him in San Angelo during his spring break, when they had played football together.
“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,” Renfro shared with the news agency.
Two Sets of Cousins: Jailah & Jayce, Jackie & Annabelle
Eleven-year-old Jailah Nicole Silguero and her cousin Jayce Carmelo Luevanos were among the victims of the massacre in Texas.
Jaliah's mother told Univision that her daughter did not want to go to school on Tuesday. "I believed she knew something was going to happen."
"My baby you didn't deserve this neither did your classmates n cousin Jayce nor your 2 teacher's. I'm so heart broken baby. We miss you so much mama. R.I.P my beautiful angel fly high baby can't wait to see u again. We Love You Jailah & Jayce fly high my loves (sic)," Veronica Luevanos, the mother of Jaliah and aunt of Jayce, wrote on Facebook.
Another set of cousins, Jackie Cazares and Annabelle Guadalupe Rodriguez, were also killed in the firing. While Jackie was outgoing, and "a little diva," Annabelle was much quieter, their aunt told The New York Times.
Makenna Lee Elrod 'Made Friends Everywhere', Ellie Garcia Loved Church
Allison McCullough, aunt of Makenna Lee Elrod, said that the 10-year-old girl loved to dance, sing, play softball, and do gymnastics.
She loved animals and "made friends everywhere she went," McCullough told ABC News.
Makenna enjoyed writing notes to her family and leave them in hidden places to be found later. "Her smile would light up a room," McCullough said.
Ellie Garcia's father Stephen, meanwhile, said that he was going to play DJ at a party that they were going to hold for her.
"Our Ellie was a doll and was the happiest ever… 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!!!! (sic)."Ellie's father, Stephen Garcia, in a Facebook post
"She loved church so much," he said in another post. Ellie's father also shared the last photo they took together on Facebook.
Fourth-grader Tess Marie Mata's sister, in a Facebook post dedicated to her, wrote, "Sissy I miss you so much, I just want to hold you and tell you how pretty you are, I want to take you outside and practice softball, I want to go on one last family vacation, I want to hear your contagious laugh, and I want you to hear me tell you how much I love you."
'Ready To Play Till Night'
Jose Flores, killed in the firing, had been in the fourth grade and had loved to play baseball and video games. “He was always full of energy... Ready to play til the night,” his father told CNN.
Flores also described his son as an amazing big brother to his two siblings.
Nevaeh Bravo, Alexandria Aniyah "Lexi" Rubio, Eliahana Cruz Torres, Maite Rodriguez, Alithia Ramirez, Layla Salazar, Miranda Mathis, Rojelio Torres, were among the other children who lost their lives in the school shooting.
The Two Teachers Who Lost Their Lives
Two teachers, Irma Garcia, 46, and Eva Mireles, 44, were also killed in the Texas shooting.
Irma Garcia had been teaching for 23 years, all at the same school, and had been nominated as a teacher of the year by her school district in 2019.
She had been a mother to four children, according to the Robb Elementary school website. "I love to BBQ with my husband, listen to music, and take country cruises to Concan," Garcia had written in her description.
Eva Mireles, on the other hand, was trained in bilingual and special education. She had taught fourth-grade students in the Uvalde school district for 17 years, and had been co-teaching with Garcia for five years.
Mireles had "a supportive, fun, and loving family," with a husband, a daughter who was a college graduate, and "three furry friends," as per her profile on the school website. "I love running, hiking, and now you just might see me riding a bike!! (sic)," Mireles wrote as part of her description.
In a post on Twitter, Mireles' daughter Adalynn Ruiz, commended her for "selflessly jumped in front of her students to save their lives."
Ruiz also remembered her mother's hard work as a teacher, her love of activities like karaoke, and the “silly voice” she used when talking to her dogs. The daughter shared that Mireles would call her every day at 4:30 pm after school.
"I want everything back," she wrote on Twitter.
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