Victims of the Texas elementary-school shooting include children under 10 and 2 teachers who family members said were trying to protect their students

·12 min read
Members of the community gather at the City of Uvalde Town Square for a prayer vigil in the wake of a mass shooting at Robb Elementary School on May 24, 2022 in Uvalde, Texas. According to reports, 19 students and 2 adults were killed before the gunman was fatally shot by law enforcement.
The shooting in Uvalde, Texas, on Tuesday was the deadliest elementary-school shooting since the 2012 Sandy Hook massacre.Jordan Vonderhaar/Getty Images
  • At least 19 children and two adults were killed in a school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, on Tuesday.

  • The victims identified so far include an 8-year-old boy and two fourth-grade teachers.

  • As of Wednesday morning, authorities and families were still identifying several victims.

At least 19 children and two adults were killed in a shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, on Tuesday.

It was America's deadliest elementary-school shooting since the 2012 Sandy Hook massacre.

The gunman, identified as an 18-year-old man, was shot dead by law-enforcement officers at the scene, The Associated Press reported. The police said he used an AR-style rifle.

As of Wednesday morning, authorities were working to identify several victims.

Here's what we know of the victims so far, according to accounts from authorities and victims' families.

Xavier Lopez, 10

Xavier, a fourth-grader, was the first student to be identified. His family confirmed his death, KSAT News reported.

The KSAT report said Xavier's mother had been with him at an award ceremony at the school hours before the shooting. He had earned an honor-roll award, The Washington Post reported.

Xavier's mother, Felicha Martinez, told the Post her son "was so full of life" and "really couldn't wait to go to middle school." He had just a few days left of fourth grade.

A GoFundMe page has been created for Xavier's family.

"It is with a heavy heart and deep sadness that we have to create this fundraiser for our cousin Felicia Martinez and Abel Lopez," the fundraiser's organizer wrote. "The Medina family is asking for your help at this time both monetarily, for funeral expenses, as well as prayers for her and her family at this time.

"Her son was tragically taken along with so many other precious angels today in Uvalde, but we as family, know he is now with his Grandpa Benny in the Kingdom of Heaven."

Eva Mireles, 44, 4th-grade teacher

Mireles' aunt, Lydia Martinez Delgado, told The New York Times that Mireles was shot and killed while trying to protect her students.

Mireles, who was in her early 40s and had been a teacher for 17 years, was an avid hiker and was "very loved," Delgado told the outlet.

Her online bio says she was married to an officer in the Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District and had a college-graduate daughter.

A Twitter user who said Mireles taught their daughter shared what appeared to be a photo of the teacher.

"She was a beautiful person & dedicated teacher," they wrote. "She believed in Gabby and went above & beyond to teach her as you can see below."

Audrey Garcia told the Post that her daughter Gabby, 23, was in Mireles' class when she was in third grade.

"My daughter has Down syndrome, and she was one of the first students at that time to be included in a regular classroom," Garcia told the Post. "Ms. Mireles always went above and beyond. She never saw Gabby as having less potential than any of the other students."

Mireles' daughter posted a tribute to her mom on Twitter Wednesday morning calling her a "hero" and listing the things she will miss about her mother.

 

Uziyah Garcia, 9

Uziyah Garcia smiles in a red t-shirt inside a home
This photo provided by Manny Renfro shows his grandson, Uziyah Garcia, on spring break in San Angelo, Texas, in March.Manny Renfro via AP

Uziyah was identified by his aunt, NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth reported.

"He was the sweetest, the kindest child," another aunt of his, Leticia Garcia, said in an interview with The Washington Post. "Very polite. Loved Jesus. He loved, absolutely loved, his parents."

His grandfather, Manny Renfro, told the AP that he'd been told his grandson was killed.

"The sweetest little boy that I've ever known," Renfro said. "I'm not just saying that because he was my grandkid."

In an interview with the BBC, Renfro recalled his last time seeing his grandson, where they played a game of catch with a football.

"Such a fast little boy and he could catch a ball so good," Renfro said. "There were certain plays that I would call that he would remember and he would do it exactly like we practiced."

Irma Garcia, 48, 4th-grade teacher

Irma Garcia's son, Christian Garcia, said she was killed, NBC News reported.

Christian Garcia said a law-enforcement friend who was responding to the shooting saw Irma Garcia shielding students, NBC News reported.

The report identified her as Mireles' co-teacher.

Rolling Stone also identified Irma Garcia as among the victims of the shooting.

A person on Twitter who described her as an aunt said she "sacrificed herself protecting the kids in her classroom."

Two days after Garcia's death, her husband Joe Garcia died two days later of a "medical emergency," a relative said.

"I truly believe Joe died of a broken heart and losing the love of his life of more than 30 years was too much to bear," Garcia's cousin wrote on a GoFundMe page for the slain teacher.

The Garcia's nephew wrote on Twitter on Thursday that Joe Garcia "passed away due to grief."

Amerie Jo Garza, 9

Amerie Jo's father, Angel Garza, told ABC News and NBC News that his 9-year-old daughter was killed in the shooting.

"My little love is now flying high with the angels above," he told ABC News. "Please don't take a second for granted. Hug your family. Tell them you love them."

Her grandmother told The Daily Beast that Amerie Jo was shot for trying to call 911.

"So the gunman went in and he told the children, 'You're going to die,'" the grandmother said. "And she had her phone and she called 911. And instead of grabbing it and breaking it or taking it from her, he shot her."

She said Amerie Joe had been awarded an honor-roll certificate the morning of the shooting. A photo showed her smiling at the ceremony hours before she was killed.

 

Nevaeh Bravo, 10

 

Nevaeh's family announced her death on Wednesday, the New York Post reported.

Nevaeh's cousin Austin Ayala told The Washington Post that the family was holding onto hope that she had survived the rampage.

"We thought that she was missing, but lo and behold we heard late last night that she didn't make it," he said. "We were all devastated."

A cousin, Emily Grace Ayala, wrote on Facebook that Nevaeh was a fourth-grade student at the school.

"We love you Nevaeh very much princess!" Ayala wrote. "Please everyone continue to keep her parents and our family in your prayers."

Austin Ayala said she celebrated her 10th birthday this past January and described her as someone who "put a smile on everyone's faces."

"It just feels like a nightmare that we cannot wake up from," he said. "Her siblings have to wake up every day knowing that she's not there with them."

Jose Flores, 10

 

Jose's uncle Christopher Salazar confirmed his death to The Washington Post.

Salazar said Jose, a fourth-grader, "loved going to school."

"He was a very happy little boy. He loved both his parents … and loved to laugh and have fun," Salazar said. He added that Jose loved playing baseball.

Flores had made the honor roll and earned an award at the ceremony held at the school on Tuesday morning.

"He was very smart," Salazar told the Post. "He wasn't a kid who would look for trouble."

Lexi Rubio, 10

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Lexi had just received an award for honor roll, her mother, Kimberly, posted on Facebook.

"She was kind, sweet, and appreciated life. 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," her parents told CNN.

Lexi aspired to be a lawyer when she grew up.

Her father, Felix, a Uvalde County Sheriff's deputy, was at the scene of the attack.

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

Eliana García, 9

The parents of Eliana, whom the family nicknamed Ellie, confirmed her death on Facebook.

"Who woulda known these would be the last photos we ever took together," her father, Steven, posted Wednesday. "Dad misses you my Wellie Geeee."

Her great aunt, Siria Arizmendi, described the 9-year-old as a "spontaneous" girl who would break out into song and dance at family parties.

"She didn't really care who you were," Arizmendi told The Washington Post. "If you showed her you cared for her, she was very loving to you."

Cousins Jacklyn Cazares and Annabell Rodríguez, both 10

"We are a very tight family," Polly Flores, Jackie's aunt and Annabelle's great-aunt, told The New York Times. "It's just devastating."

Flores described Annabell as an honor roll student. She said she was more reserved than Jackie.

Jackie was "outgoing; she always had to be the center of attention," Flores told The Times. Flores referred to her as "my little diva."

 

Makenna Elrod, 10

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Makenna was an animal lover and softball player, KTRK reported.

"Makenna made friends everywhere she went," her aunt, Allison McCullough, told the local outlet. "She had brothers, sisters, and cousins who she loved to play with. Her smile would light up a room. Makenna loved to write notes to her family and leave them in hidden places to be found later. Makenna was a natural leader and loved school. Makenna loved going to the ranch with her dad to feed animals and ride on the ranger. She was full of life and will live on in the hearts of all who knew and loved her."

Cousins Jayce Carmelo Luevanos and Jaliah Nicole Silguero, both 10

 

"I can't believe this happened to our angels, after our grandpa just passed away two weeks ago so much loss in so little time," Jayce and Jailah's cousin told KTRK.

Rojelio Torres, 10

 

"Our entire family waited almost 12 hours since the shooting to find out Rojelio Torres, my 10-year-old nephew, was killed in this tragedy," Rojelio's aunt, Precious Perez, told KSAT. "We are devastated and heartbroken. Rojer was a very intelligent, hard-working and helpful person. He will be missed and never forgotten."

Eliahana 'Elijah Cruz' Torres, 10

Elijah was confirmed dead on Wednesday, The Daily Mail reported.

In a text to The Washington Post, Eliahana's cousin Rob Trevino said: "We're still in shock and trying to wrap our heads around this."

Tess Marie Mata, 10

"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," Tess's sister, Faith Mata, wrote on Twitter.

Alithia Ramirez, 10

"Why… why hurt these little innocent kids. Finding out that my baby cousin gained her wings was just a heartbreaking moment.I hate seeing my family suffer. You will be missed Alithia Ramirez," Alithia's cousin posted on Twitter.

Maite Yuleana Rodriguez, 10

Maite's cousin confirmed her death on Facebook, and called her a "beautiful angel," BBC reported.

"She was her mommy's only girl. She was her mom's best friend. She was the light of her life!" Aiko Coronado wrote. "She was beyond smart. Her dream was to attend Texas A&M University to become a marine biologist."

Miranda Mathis, 11

"An update......my fiances friends daughter was confirmed killed. Miranda Mathis. Please send your prayers," a Twitter user wrote, The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported.

Leslie Ruiz, a friend of Miranda's mother, told The Washington Post that the 11-year-old was "fun" and "spunky."

"She had manners," Ruiz wrote. "She was a bright girl."

Layla Salazar, 10

Layla's father, Vincent Salazar, confirmed his daughter's death in the Tuesday attack to the Associated Press.

"Yesterday we lost our heart our whole world," Salazar wrote in a Facebook post. "We Love you Baby girl."

In an interview with the AP, he said his 11-year-old daughter loved to swim and dance in TikTok videos, and that every time he would drive her to school, the pair would sing along to "Sweet Child O' Mine," by Guns N' Roses.

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

 

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