UVALDE, United States- A young boy who loved to dance, a girl who was “the happiest ever” — here’s a closer look at four of the victims of the mass shooting at a Texas elementary school that claimed the lives of 19 children and two teachers.
– Amerie Jo Garza, the big sister –
Amerie Jo Garza, a young girl with a brilliant smile, had just celebrated her 10th birthday in mid-May.
For unbearably long hours on Tuesday, her father Angel Garza had no news of her.
“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,” he wrote on Facebook, along with a photo of him hugging his grinning daughter.
Several hours later, he posted again.
“Thank you everyone for the prayers and help trying to find my baby,” he said. “My little love is now flying high with the angels above.”
“I love you Amerie Jo. Watch over your baby brother for me.”
– Ellie Garcia, ‘a doll’ –
“Our Ellie was a doll and was the happiest ever,” Ellie Garcia’s father, Steven Garcia, wrote on Facebook. “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,” he added.
Ellie’s mother Jennifer Lugo also posted many photos of her daughter on social media. “My heart is broken,” she wrote alongside a photo of Ellie at her first communion in 2021, dressed in white and beaming at the camera.
“I feel so numb. I miss you baby!!!!!”
– Eva Mireles, teacher –
Eva Mireles was one of two teachers killed Tuesday by the 18-year-old gunman. In her early forties, she had been teaching for 17 years.
She loved running and hiking, according to a short biography of her posted on the school website.
“And now you just might see me riding a bike!!” she added.
Mireles is survived by her husband, a daughter and three pets.
– Irma Garcia, mother of four –
Irma Garcia had been teaching for 23 years at Robb Elementary, the school targeted in the attack. She had been a co-teacher with Mireles for five years.
A mother of four who had been married for 24 years, Garcia loved to barbecue with her husband and to listen to music.
Her eldest son is in the US Marines, while another is attending Texas State University. Her eldest daughter is a sophomore in high school, and her youngest is in seventh grade.
– Xavier Lopez, the dancer –
Xavier Lopez, 10, “loved to dance,” his uncle Benito Martinez told Fox News Tuesday night.
“Oh man, he would dance even when he sweated but he didn’t care,” Martinez said of his young, dark-haired nephew.
“This past Sunday he was at my daughter’s birthday party,” Martinez said, smiling at the memory. “He was dancing.”
– Jose Flores, the good student –
Ten-year-old Jose Flores “loved going to school,” his uncle Christopher Salazar told The Washington Post.
“He was a very happy little boy. He loved both his parents… and loved to laugh and have fun,” Salazar said of the fourth grader, adding: “He was very smart.”
Just hours before the shooting, Flores received an award for making the school honor roll.