Friday, May 27, 2022

Victims of Uvalde mass shooting include cousins, best friends, honor roll students

By Bethany Blankley

The identities of the victims of the shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, have been made public.

On May 24, 18-year-old Uvalde resident Salvador Ramos entered the school and shot and killed 19 children and two fourth grade teachers.

One teacher, Irma Garcia, a mother of four, is described by her nephew as “Sweet, kind, loving. Fun with the greatest personality. She sacrificed herself protecting the kids in her classroom. She was a hero. She was loved by many and will truly be missed.”

He created a GoFundMe page to help with funeral expenses. Two days later, his uncle, Joe Garcia, Irma’s widower, died of a heart attack. Their children became orphans within a timespan of two days.

Another teacher, Eva Mireles, had been with the school district for 17 years. Remembered as a loving mother and wife, her mother told ABC 7 News, "I never imagined this would happen especially to loved ones. … All we can do is pray hard for our country, state, schools and especially the families of all.”

The children killed were between 8 and 11 years old.

Nevaeh Bravo, 10, was identified by a family member on Twitter. She wrote, “Unfortunately my beautiful Nevaeh was one of the many victims from todays tragedy. Thank you for the support and help. Rest in peace my sweet girl, you didn’t deserve this.”

Jackie Cazares, 10, and her cousin and best friend, Annabell Rodriguez, 10, were also killed. They were part of a group of five girls, Cazares' father told The Associated Press. "They are all gone now," he said.

He wrote on Facebook that his "baby girl has been taken away from my family." Annabell’s sister wrote on Facebook, “My little sister didn’t make it she’s no longer with us my poor sweet little girl. ….”

Makenna Lee Elrod,10, was also killed. On Tuesday night, her father, Brandon Elrod, told ABC News he’d been looking for her and thought “she may not be alive.”

Her sister, Kadence Elizabeth, later tweeted, “My baby sister has finally been found in a classroom … thank you for everyone sending their love to my family and I. All I ask is that you hug your loved ones tonight and tell them you love them, you never know when you won’t have the chance to anymore.”

Jose Flores, 10, was also killed. His uncle, Christopher Salazar, posted photos on Facebook of Jose, saying he loved and missed him.

Eliahna Garcia, 9, loved cheerleading and basketball and wanted to be a teacher, her grandfather told The Los Angeles Times. He’d raised his children in Uvalde and Eliahna spent the weekends with he and his wife. “I’ve seen all the stuff happen in other states, hoping it doesn’t happen here. Now it has,” he said.

Uziyah Garcia, 8, was “the sweetest little boy that I’ve ever known. I’m not just saying that because he was my grandkid,” his grandfather, Manny Renfro, told the Associated Press

Amerie Jo Garza had just turned 10 and got a cell phone for her birthday. She used it to call 911 but it was too late.

Angel Garza, a medical assistant, arrived at the scene and was helping students coming out of the school. He spoke to one who came out covered in blood and asked her if she’d been shot.

“I’m not hurt,” she said, “He shot my best friend,” referring to the shooter. “She’s not breathing. She was just trying to call the cops.”

Her best friend was his step-daughter, Amerie Jo.

“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,” he wrote on Facebook.

Xavier Lopez was “a loving 10-year-old little boy, just enjoying life, not knowing that this tragedy was going to happen today,” his cousin, Lisa Garza, told The Associated Press. His mother, Felicha Martinez told the Washington Post,“He was funny, never serious and his smile. That smile I will never forget. It would always cheer anyone up.”

She’d just watched him receive an honor roll certificate that morning, hours before he was killed.

Jayce Luevanos was another victim, according to a GoFundMe account. “The Cardona family is asking for any and all help both monetarily, for funeral expenses, as well as prayers for their family,” the page says.

His cousin, Jailah Nicole Silguero, 10, who loved to film TikTok videos, was also killed. Their uncle posted pictures of them on Facebook, saying, “My babies going to miss them like crazy!!! We luv y’all so much!!! I’m just lost right now!!! Fly high my beautiful Angels!!”

Tess Marie Mata was remembered by her sister in posts on Facebook and Twitter. “My precious angel you are loved so deeply,” her sister, Faith, tweeted. “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.”

Miranda Mathis, 11, was also killed. Her cousin, Deanna Miller, posted a picture of her on Facebook page with angel wings, saying, “My sweet baby cousin we loved u dearly I’m so sorry this happen to u baby please keep my family in your prayer.”

Alithia Ramirez, 10, loved to draw, her aunt said. “I want the families to know that they’re not alone. We’re all grieving,” she said. “My whole family is devastated.” Her father, Ryan Ramirez, posted a photo of her on Facebook with angel wings. He told KSAT TV she wanted to be an artist and recently submitted a drawing to the “Doodle for Google” contest.

Maite Rodriguez, who’d just made honor roll, was celebrated by family members on Facebook; one said her cousin “lost her sweet baby girl in yesterday’s senseless shooting.”

Alexandria Aniyah Rubio,10, was remembered by her mother, Kimberly Mata-Rubio, who wrote on Facebook, “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.”

Layla Salazar, 10, had just won six races during the school’s field day, her father told the Associated Press. “She was just a whole lot of fun,” he said, adding that she liked to dance to TikTok videos.

Eliahana Cruz Torres, 10, was looking forward to her team’s final softball game before her death, KENS-TV News reported.

Rojelio Torres, 10, “was a very intelligent, hard-working and helpful person. He will be missed and never forgotten,” his aunt told KSAT News. His entire family waited almost 12 hours since the shooting to find out that he was killed, she said. “We are devastated and heartbroken.”

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