Third grader, 3 fourth graders, 2 teachers among those killed at Uvalde Elementary School

Victims shot and killed at a Texas elementary school on Tuesday include 19 children – at least three of whom were fourth graders – and two teachers trying to protect them, relatives told media.

Students and educators were days away from the end of the school year when they were gunned down Tuesday at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, west of San Antonio.

Eva Mireles, left, and Irma GarciaRobb Elementary School via Facebook

Eva Mireles, who taught fourth grade, had been an educator for 17 years, according to her profile at Robb Elementary.

Mireles was “trying to protect her students” from the shooter, an insider told The New York Times.

This came as no surprise to Mireles’ cousin, Amber Ybarra.

“She’s a hero,” she said on NBC’s “TODAY” show on Wednesday.

“Her cooking was amazing. Her laughter was contagious and she will be missed,” added Ybarra. “She put her heart into everything she did.”

Lydia Martinez Delgado, Mireles’ aunt, said her niece was an avid hiker who took pride in teaching Latino students, The Times reported.

Ouziyah Garcia
Ouziyah GarciaNikki Cross

Martinez Delgado told KSAT-TV of San Antonio that she was “furious” about the shooting and others, saying, “These kids are innocent. Guns should not be readily available to everyone. This is my hometown, a small community of less than 20,000 people. I never imagined that this would happen especially to loved ones.

Mireles’ co-teacher, Irma Garcia, was killed, according to her son, Christian Garcia.

Xavier Lopez
Xavier LopezLopez family via KSAT

Irma Garcia taught at the school for 23 years, according to her school profile. In 2019, she was one of 19 San Antonio-area teachers named finalists for a Trinity University award that recognizes excellence in teaching. Garcia had four children and loved barbecuing with her husband and listening to music.

His son said a law enforcement friend who was at the scene saw Garcia protecting his students.

Three fourth-grade students were also among the dead, relatives confirmed to the media.

Amerie Jo Garza
Amerie Jo GarzaGarza family via KSAT

Uziyah Garcia was identified by his aunt, Nikki Cross, NBC Dallas-Fort Worth reported.

Xavier Lopez, 10, had attended an awards ceremony with his mother hours before filming, KSAT reported.

Amerie’s father Jo Garza identified her to NBC News as one of the victims. She was about to complete fourth grade, according to KSAT.

Amerie Jo was shot while dialing 911 in an effort to help her classmates, her grandmother, Berlinda Irene Arreola, told The Daily Beast.

Arreola said authorities and survivors told her the shooter told the students, “you’re going to die,” and Amerie Jo grabbed her phone to call police. “And instead of grabbing it and breaking it or taking it from her, he shot her. She was sitting right next to her best friend. Her best friend was covered in her blood,” Arreola said.

Amerie Jo had earlier in the day received a certificate for making the honor roll.

Annabell Guadalupe Rodriguez, 10, a third-grade student was killed, family members told KHOU of Houston.

Annabell Guadalupe Rodriguez
Annabell Guadalupe RodriguezRodriguez family via KHOU

The other 15 children who were killed were not immediately identified.

“My heart was broken today,” Hal Harrell, headmaster of the Uvalde Consolidated Independent School, told reporters. “We are a small community. And we will need your prayers to get us out of this.

The shooter allegedly shot his grandmother before driving to the school and “shooting everyone in front of him,” said Lt. Chris Olivarez of the Texas Department of Public Safety.

The grandmother was hospitalized in critical condition, he said.

More than a dozen other people, including children and law enforcement officers, were also injured.

Janelle Griffith, Kurt Chirbas, Irene Byon, Sara Mhaidli, Elisha Fieldstadt and Daniel Arkin contributed.

About Mark A. Tomlin

Check Also

Investigative Committee finds evidence of harassment against UR teacher

The Inquiry Committee has found partial evidence on allegations of sexual harassment by two students …