Texas shooting: What we know about the victims

Families are sharing photos and stories of their loved ones, who lost their lives in a mass shooting in Texas that killed 19 children and two adults on Tuesday afternoon.

In the aftermath of the shooting at an elementary school in Uvalde, parents and other family members anxiously awaited word for hours about their loved ones at a nearby municipal centre. Some used social media to share images of their children in hopes of finding information.

Now, their pictures and stories are being circulated in tribute to the victims’ lives and families.

Investigators are still officially identifying victims. Some relatives were asked to provide DNA swabs to assist in identification, according to CNN, a horrifying insight into the devastation of the shooting.

The shooting’s primary suspect was identified as 18-year-old Salvador Ramos, who authorities said was shot and killed by law enforcement.

AMERIE JO GARZA

Angel Garza scrambled to find his 10-year-old daughter, Amerie Jo for seven hours before he eventually took to Facebook to plead for help to find her.

“I don’t ask for much or hardly even post on here but please It’s been seven hours and I still haven’t heard anything on my love,” Garza wrote.

“Please help me find my daughter.”

On Wednesday morning, Garza said Amerie had been identified as a victim.

“My little love is now flying high with the angels above. Please don’t take a second for granted. Hug your family,” he wrote.

“Tell them you love them. I love you Amerie jo. Watch over your baby brother for me.”

EVA MIRELES

Eva Mireles, a fourth-grade teacher at Robb Elementary school, has been identified by local media as another of the shooting victims.

Mireles’ was an educator for 17 years, and enjoyed running, hiking, biking and being with her family, according to her profile on the Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District’s website.

She was married to a Uvalde CISD police officer and had one daughter.

“My beautiful niece did not survive this coward’s actions… Pray for the family especially my nephew, Ruben his only daughter Addy and my sister Cynthia and all of Eva’s family,” her aunt, Lydia Martinez Delgado wrote on Facebook.

Mireles’s daughter wrote a tribute to her on Twitter on Wednesday morning, describing her mother as her “best friend.”

 

My sweet mommy , I will miss you forever. ���� pic.twitter.com/SIxKrgX6Xi

— Adalynn ✞�� (@addy_celeste) May 25, 2022

MAKENNA LEE ELROD

Allison McCullough, Makenna’s aunt, confirmed to ABC News that the fourth grader was one of the students killed.

"Her smile would light up a room," she said.

Makenna loved to write notes for her family and hide them to be found later, and had many interests, including softball, gymnastics, dancing and singing and visiting the ranch with her dad.

"She loved her family and friends so much," McCullough said.

McCullough has set up a GoFundMe page for her niece’s family, which has already raised U.S. $58,102.

A family friend expressed her condolences about Makenna’s death on Facebook.

“My heart is shattered as my daughter Chloe loved her so much!!” Pilar Newberry wrote.

“Just a few weeks ago she got a friendship bracelet from her at the ballpark and she wears it every day!” 

XAVIER LOPEZ

Xavier Lopez, 10, had been looking forward to a summer full of swimming, according to Lisa Garcia of Arlington, Texas. She described her cousin to AP as “loving.”

“He was very bubbly, loved to dance with his brothers, his mom,” she said.

Gun laws need to be changed to stop this from happening again, she added.

“We should have more restrictions, especially if these kids are not in their right state of mind and all they want to do is just hurt people, especially innocent children going to the schools.”

Gun laws need to be changed to stop this from happening again, she added.

“We should have more restrictions, especially if these kids are not in their right state of mind and all they want to do is just hurt people, especially innocent children going to the schools.”

Xavier's relatives set up a GoFundMe that had raised more than $70,000 as of Wednesday morning.

UZIYAH GARCIA

Uziyah Garcia was an 8-year-old student at the elementary school, according to The Associated Press. His grandfather, Manny Renfro, confirmed his identity.

“The sweetest little boy that I’ve ever known,” Renfro told AP. “I’m not just saying that because he was my grand kid.” 

He said that when Uziyah visited him in San Angelo during spring break, they played football together, a memory he reflected on with fondness.

“Such a fast little boy and he could catch a ball so good,” Renfro said. 

JOSE FLORES JR.

Ten-year-old Jose Flores Jr. was confirmed as one of the victims of the shooting by his father, Jose Flores Sr., according to CNN.

"He was always full of energy," Flores said, describing his son as a great big brother to his two younger siblings. "Ready to play till the night." 

ELLIE GARCIA

Jennifer Lugo and Steven Garcia, 10-year-old Ellie Garcia's parents, uploaded photos and messages about their daughter on social media in hopes of locating her. Lugo asked for the public’s help through a photo she posted of Ellie on Facebook, which she said was taken on the day of the shooting.

Garcia confirmed later in the day that Ellie had been killed in the mass shooting.

“All I ask is why….Why my Ellie Gee? What did she ever do to anyone?” he wrote.

“Mom and Dad love you sooo much…”

Siria Arizmendi, Ellie’s aunt, told the Associated Press that she was “very happy and very outgoing, loved to dance and sing and play sports.”

“She was very sweet,” she said, speaking through tears.

Arizmendi is a teacher at the nearby middle school, teaching students only a year or two older than Ellie, and said they were in lockdown when the shooting was ongoing.

Later, she said relatives gathered at the civic centre to wait for news, hoping Ellie was still alive. When they were asked to provide DNA samples to help identify victims, they knew deep down that their child was gone, Arizmendi told AP.

“I don’t know how people can sell that type of a gun to a kid,” she said. “To an 18-year-old. Like, what is he going to use it for but for that purpose?” 

IRMA GARCIA

Irma Garcia, 48, was wrapping up 23 years of teaching when she was killed during the mass shooting on Tuesday, according to her profile on the Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District’s website.

She spent her entire career as a teacher at Robb Elementary School. She was a mother to four, including one who was in the U.S. Marines, and loved to barbecue with her husband, listen to music and take country cruises to Concan.

“She sacrificed herself protecting the kids in her classroom,” a Twitter user who identified himself as Garcia’s nephew said.

“She died a hero. She was loved by many and will truly be missed.”

On Thursday, two days after the shooting, another one of Garcia's nephews confirmed that her husband, Joe Garcia, had also died.

"EXTREMELY heartbreaking and come with deep sorrow to say that my Tia Irma's husband Joe Garcia has passed away due to grief, i truly am at a loss for words for how we are all feeling, PLEASE PRAY FOR OUR FAMILY, God have mercy on us, this isn’t easy," the nephew wrote on Twitter.

A reporter for FOX 26 Houston said family members confirmed to him that Joe Garcia died of a heart attack.

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.❤️‍�� pic.twitter.com/zM54TbooZZ

— Joey.mtz (@Joeymtz4) May 25, 2022

EXTREMELY heartbreaking and come with deep sorrow to say that my Tia Irma’s husband Joe Garcia has passed away due to grief, i truly am at a loss for words for how we are all feeling, PLEASE PRAY FOR OUR FAMILY, God have mercy on us, this isn’t easy pic.twitter.com/GlUSOutRVV

— john martinez ❤️‍�� (@fuhknjo) May 26, 2022

ALEXANDRIA "LEXI" ANIYAH RUBIO

Fourth grader Lexi Rubio was one of the children struck down in Tuesday’s shooting, shortly after celebrating her academic achievements at school with her parents.

Her mother, Kimberly Mata-Rubio, posted a photo on Facebook of Lexi smiling and posing with a certificate recognizing her as an honour roll student.

“My beautiful, smart, Alexandria Aniyah Rubio was recognized today for All-A honor roll,” she wrote in the post. “She also received the good citizen award. We told her we loved her and would pick her up after school.”

Lexi’s father, Felix Rubio, is a deputy with the Uvalde County Sheriff’s Office, and told CNN's Jason Carroll that gun violence needs to be addressed to stop future tragedies.

"All I can hope is that she's just not a number," he said. "This is enough. No one else needs to go through this. We never needed to go through this, but we are."

"She was kind, sweet, and appreciated life,” Mata-Rubio told CNN. “She was going to be an all-star in softball and had a bright future, whether it's sports or academic. Please let the world know we miss our baby.”

ANNABELL GUADALUPE RODRIGUEZ

Rodriguez was identified as one of the shooting victims on Wednesday morning. Her cousin, Jacklyn, was in the same classroom as her and was also shot and killed, according to ABC News.

Terrible update: Family members tell me officials have confirmed 10-year Annabell Guadalupe Rodriguez was killed today. They say she was in 3rd grade and in the same classroom as her cousin. And they say her cousin was also killed today. @KHOU #Uvalde pic.twitter.com/FYuFQmEH5p

— Anayeli Ruiz KHOU (@AnayeliNews) May 25, 2022

JACKLYN JAYLEN CAZARES

Polly Flores, aunt to Annabell and Jacklyn, told ABC News that the two cousins were in the same fourth grade class at Robb Elementary and had both been tragically killed.

"My little girl was full of life and touched so many people," Jacinto Cazares, Jacklyn’s father, told ABC News. ”Jackie was the one that would go out of her way to help anyone. It gives me some comfort, that she would be the little cracker that would have done something to help her classmates in that very scary scenario."

In a Facebook post, he wrote, “Baby girl we all love you with all our hearts.”

ROJELIO TORRES

The 10-year-old was killed in the shooting, according to ABC News, who spoke to Rojelio’s mother.

She said he was a "very smart and loving child."

JAILAH NICOLE SILGUERO

Jailah’s mother told Univision that her daughter didn’t want to go to school Tuesday, and had asked if she could stay home.

“I think she knew something was going to happen,” Veronica Luevanos said in Spanish in a phone call during the outlet’s broadcast, sobbing.

She added that she had also lost her nephew.

In a Facebook post, she wrote, “my baby you didn’t deserve this.”

 

JAYCE CARMELO LUEVANOS

Jayce was Jailah’s cousin, according to family members, and was also killed in the attack.

In a Facebook post that showed a picture of Jailah next to a picture of Jayce, Luevanos wrote, “fly high my angels […] We’re going to miss yall so much.”

TESS MARIE MATA

Faith Mata, who identified herself as Tess’s big sister, posted on Twitter that Tess was one of the students killed in the shooting, writing, “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.”

My precious angel you are loved so deeply. 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. Till we meet again Tess Marie, love your big sissy�� pic.twitter.com/ziEAe6bsFE

— Faith Mata (@faithmataa) May 25, 2022

In a longer tribute on Facebook, she shared photos of Tess and described her as “sassy.”

"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,” she wrote.

Her softball coach, Kylie Sendejo, posted on Facebook that Tess was a “rockstar” who wanted to play second base because that was her older sister’s position.

“Then you started pitching and amazed me,” she wrote. “I’ll always remember you as one of my little players.”

MAITE RODRIGUEZ

Family members confirmed on Facebook that 10-year-old Maite was one of the victims.

Aiko Coronado, her aunt, posted that she was “full of life” and that it was her dream to attend university to become a marine biologist.

“Her mom wants everyone to know that her baby girl had a dream,” she wrote. “Fly high baby girl we love you!”

LAYLA SALAZAR

Her father, Vincent Salazar, posted a series of photos of Layla on Facebook, writing: “Yesterday we lost our heart our whole world.”

“Daddy is sorry I wasn't there to protect you when you needed me the most,” he wrote.

In another post he said that he and Layla would jam along to Guns N’ Roses’ ‘Sweet Child O’ Mine’ on the way to school.

He told the Philadelphia Inquirer that she was an avid runner and loved TikTok videos.

“She was just a whole lot of fun,” he said.

NEVAEH BRAVO

Hours after posting on Facebook asking for help locating her cousin, Emily Grace Ayala confirmed that Nevaeh had died in the attack.

“She is flying with the angels above,” she wrote. “We love you Nevaeh very much princess!” 

At a prayer vigil for the victims in Uvalde on Wednesday night, Nevaeh's grandmother Esmeralda Bravo held back tears while she clutched a picture of Nevaeh in her lap. 

ALITHIA RAMIREZ

Her father, Ryan Ramirez, posted on Facebook following the shooting that he did not know where his daughter was.

“I Called all the hospitals and nothing,” he wrote.

He later changed his Facebook profile to a photo of Alithia with angel wings. ABC News confirmed that Alithia was among the students killed.

ELIAHANA CRUZ TORRES

Her grandfather Adolfo Cruz confirmed to ABC News that Eliahana was one of the students killed in the shooting, calling her a “beautiful young girl with a lot of energy.”  

MIRANDA MATHIS

The 11-year-old was remembered by her cousin, Deanna Miller, who posted a tribute on Facebook.

“My sweet baby cousin we loved u dearly,” she wrote. “I’m so sorry this happen to u baby.” 

With files from CTVNews.ca Writer Michael Lee, The Associated Press, Storyful, CNN and ABC News

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