'My Little Love Is Now Flying High With the Angels Above': Victims of the Texas School Shooting Remembered

In the hours since Tuesday’s deadly shooting at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, some family members are beginning the unimaginable mourning process after learning that their loved one was taken from them. Others, meanwhile, are still trying to find their missing child, praying that their biggest fear isn’t about to become a reality.

At least 19 students and two teachers were killed Tuesday at Robb Elementary in Uvalde, Texas, in what is now the deadliest mass shooting at a school since the Sandy Hook tragedy in 2012. Officials have not revealed a motive for the shooting but have said the shooter, who died on the scene, was a resident of the community and acted alone.

While law enforcement officers have not revealed the full list of names of those killed in the tragedy, family members and loved ones have begun paying tribute to the lives lost in the unthinkable — and avoidable — tragedy.

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Jose Flores Jr., age 10

“Jose was the only one who didn’t make it out,” Jose Flores Jr.’s aunt Lydia Salazar Torrez told Rolling Stone. “It’s horrible. We can’t even believe this has happened. We can’t. It shouldn’t have happened. Jose was nothing but heaven. He’s his mom’s first-born. He was in a good mood all the time, always saying hello to everybody. It’s a tragedy. It’s something that the whole world is never going to forget.”

Ellie Garcia, age 10

Ellie Garcia’s father and mother, Steven Garcia and Jennifer Lugo, had been sharing social media messages in a desperate search for their daughter on Tuesday. By that evening, Garcia confirmed that their daughter died.  “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,” Garcia wrote on Facebook. He added: “Mom and Dad love you never forget that and please try and stay by our side, Amor!”

 

Irma Garcia, age 46

A co-teacher in Eva Mireles’ 4th grade classroom, Irma Garcia’s death was confirmed by her son Christian, who was told by law enforcement that Garcia was seen shielding her students from the gunman, NBC News reported. She taught at Robb Elementary for 23 years, according to her school district profile. Her nephew, Joey, shared a photo of the two of them together on social media. “My tia [aunt] did not make it, she sacrificed herself protecting the kids in her classroom” Joey wrote, calling her a hero.

Uziyah Garcia, age 8

“The sweetest little boy that I’ve ever known,” Uziyah Garcia’s grandfather Manny Renfro told the Associated Press. “I’m not just saying that because he was my grandkid.”

Amerie Jo Garza, age 10

Amerie Jo Garza was “full of life, a jokester, always smiling,” her father Angel told the New York Times. “She was very social. She talked to everybody.”

Angel added on social media, “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.”

Xavier Javier Lopez, age 10

Xavier Javier Lopez’s family confirmed his death at Robb Elementary, KSAT reports. Hours earlier, Lopez’s mother was with him at an awards ceremony prior the shooting.

Eva Mireles, age 44

A fourth-grade teacher at Robb Elementary and 17-year educator, Eva Mireles — like her co-teacher Irma Garcia — was “trying to protect her students” from the gunman, a relative told the New York Times. “She is a hero,” Mireles’ cousin Amber Ybarra told the Today show.

Mireles’ daughter, Adalynn, shared a heartfelt message to her mom on social media. “Mom, you are a hero. I keep telling myself that this isn’t real. I just want to hear your voice,” she wrote, sharing cherished memories with her mom and thanking her for everything. She added: “You are so known by many now and I’m so happy that people know your name and that beautiful face of yours and they know what a hero looks like.”

“She was the most outgoing and generous person, always happy. She’d do anything for all the kids she taught and all my little cousins and nieces and nephews,”Johnny Delgado, Mireles’ cousin, told Rolling Stone. “She was a little older than me, but she’s always been there for me if I ever needed someone to talk to.”

Alithia Ramirez, age 10

Alithia Ramirez enjoyed drawing and hoped to be an artist, her father Ryan Ramirez told KSAT, and added that he was working to gather the family. “That’s what my daughter would want us to do, is to be strong.”

 

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