Texas school shooting victims: 'Mom and Dad love you, never forget that'

·7-min read
TEXAS Victims; clockwise from top left: Teacher Eve Mireles, Amerie Jo Garza, Xavier Lopez, Makenna Elrod, Eliahana Torres and teacher Irma Garza
TEXAS Victims; clockwise from top left: Teacher Eve Mireles, Amerie Jo Garza, Xavier Lopez, Makenna Elrod, Eliahana Torres and teacher Irma Garza

Devastated families gathered at a Texas civic centre to mourn the children "horrifically and incomprehensibly" killed in a primary school shooting on Tuesday evening.

Authorities confirmed the death toll of the shooting rose to at least 19 children and two adults after the 18-year-old shooter, Salvador Ramos, opened fired inside.

By nightfall, the names of the victims killed in the attack at Robb Elementary School in the town of Uvalde began to emerge.

A man at the civic centre was seen walking away and sobbing into his phone "she is gone". At the back of the building, a woman stood alone, crying and yelling into her phone, and shaking in anger.

Photos of smiling children flooded social media, while their desperate families begged authorities for information throughout the night.

Classes had been winding down, with just two days left in the school year and each day had a theme. Tuesday's was

Footloose and Fancy - and pupils were meant to wear an outfit with fun or fancy shoes.

The shooting is the third deadliest school massacre in US history and has rocked the rural town, located 60 miles east of the Mexican border.

Amerie Jo Garza, 10

Fourth-grader Amerie Jo Garza was shot while attempting to call emergency services, her grandmother told the Daily Beast.

Berlinda Irene Arreola described her as “super-outgoing” and a “teacher’s pet” who loved school.

The ten-year-old was photographed for the last time at 10am on Tuesday morning before she was gunned down just hours later.

She can be seen smiling as she held a school certificate naming her to the honour roll at the school.

Amerie's father Angel posted on Facebook: "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."

Amerie Jo Garza
Amerie Jo Garza

Uziyah Garcia, 8

Grandfather Manny Renfro said he was informed on Tuesday that his grandson, eight-year-old Uziyah Garcia, was among the victims killed in the school massacre.

Mr Renfro described his grandson as the "sweetest little boy that (he'd) ever known".

"I'm not just saying that because he was my grandkid."

The eight-year-old last visited him in San Angelo during his school holidays, with Mr Renfro recalling the precious moments they shared 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," Mr Renfro said.

"There were certain plays that I would call that he would remember and he would do it exactly like we practiced."

Manny Renfro shows his grandson, Uziyah Garcia, while on spring break in San Angelo, Texas - Manny Renfro
Manny Renfro shows his grandson, Uziyah Garcia, while on spring break in San Angelo, Texas - Manny Renfro

Xavier Lopez, 10

10-year-old Xavier Javier Lopez had been looking forward to a summer of swimming before he was killed in the shooting tragedy.

His cousin Lisa Garza, 54, described him as a "bubbly" boy who was full of life."

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 mum. This has just taken a toll on all of us."

Xavier Lopez was the first student named among the shooting victims - Supplied
Xavier Lopez was the first student named among the shooting victims - Supplied

Makenna Lee Elrod, 10

Makenna Lee Elrod's father had been hunting for her after saying that he feared "she may not be alive". Her death was confirmed by a family friend.

Brandon Elrod said he was "on the way to the funeral home" because "we can't find my daughter".

"It's pretty sad what this world's coming to," he told TV station KTRK.

Pilar Newberry's daughter attended tumbling classes with Makenna. She said: "Sweet Makenna Rest in Paradise!! My heart is shattered as my daughter Chloe loved her so much!!"

"I’ll never forget how excited she was to meet a new friend from a different school! Just a few weeks ago she got a friendship bracelet from her at the ballpark and she wears it every day! When she wakes up tomorrow she’s going to be devastated. Praying so hard for her sweet family!!!!"

Makenna Lee Elrod
Makenna Lee Elrod

Eliahana 'Elijah Cruz' Torres, 10

Eliahana 'Elijah Cruz' Torres, 10, was identified as one of the victims by her grandfather. He said she did not want to attend school that day but was told she had to by her family.

Adolfo Cruz, a 69-year-old air conditioning repairman, waited outside of the school for hours before learning of his great granddaughter's death. The rest of her family were waiting at the hospital and civic centre for news.

“I hope she is alive,” he said at the time. “They are waiting for an update.”

Eliahana Torres
Eliahana Torres

Ellie Lugo, 10

Ellie Lugo was confirmed dead by her parents Steven Garcia and Jennifer Lugo after she was missing for several hours.

"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!!! Our Ellie was a doll and was the happiest ever," Steven wrote on Facebook.

"Mom and Dad love you never forget that and please try and stay by our side."

Ellie Lugo
Ellie Lugo

Annabell Guadalupe Rodriguez, 10

Annabell Guadalupe Rodriguez was killed alongside her cousin in their third-grade classroom, family members have said.

Her father reported her as missing earlier in the day.

Annabelle Guadalupe Rodriguez
Annabelle Guadalupe Rodriguez

Eva Mireles, 44

The teacher killed in the mass shooting has been named as 44-year-old Eva Mireles.

Ms Mireles taught fourth grade at Robb Elementary and has been remembered as a loving mother and wife.

She was trained in bilingual and special education and taught pupils aged around nine or 10 years old.

Her cousin, Cristina Arizmendi Mireles, said she was a "beautiful" soul who would be dearly missed.

"My beautiful cousin! Such a devastating day for us all! My heart is shattered into a million pieces," Arizmendi Mireles said.

Her husband, Ruben Ruiz, is a police officer at the school district's police force, the agency investigating the massacre.

The teacher killed in Tuesday's mass shooting in Uvalde has been named as Eva Mireles - Supplied
The teacher killed in Tuesday's mass shooting in Uvalde has been named as Eva Mireles - Supplied

Her devastated aunt, Lydia Martinez Delgado, paid tribute to her niece in a Facebook post, asking for prayers for her family and the entire town of Uvalde.

"I'm furious that these shootings continue. These children are innocent. Rifles should not be easily available to all. This is my hometown, a small community of less than 20,000. I never imagined this would happen to especially loved ones," Ms Martinez Delgado said in a statement.

"All we can do is pray hard for our country, state, schools, and especially the families of all."

Eva Mireles, left, and Irma Garcia
Eva Mireles, left, and Irma Garcia

Irma Garcia, in her forties

A second teacher killed in the shooting has been identified as Irma Garcia, who reportedly "sacrificed herself protecting the kids in her classroom" as the gunman opened fire, according to reports.

Ms Garcia taught fourth grade at Robb Elementary and had been a teacher for the last 23 years. She had been married for 24 years and was a mother of four.

A family member wrote: "My Tia did not make it, she sacrificed herself protecting the kids in her classroom, I beg of you to keep my family including all of her family in y’all’s prayers.

"IRMA GARCIA IS HER NAME and she died a HERO. She was loved by many and will truly be missed."

Robb Elementary School handout of Irma Garcia, a teacher who was killed at the Uvalde, Texas school shooting
Robb Elementary School handout of Irma Garcia, a teacher who was killed at the Uvalde, Texas school shooting
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