A veteran teacher who’s a married mom-of-four has been named as the second educator killed in the Texas elementary school massacre.
Irma Garcia, 46, was named as a victim of the atrocity by devastated friends and family members in the early hours of Wednesday.
Her co-teacher Eva Mireles, 44, was named as the second teacher killed in the massacre at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde on Tuesday evening.
The women were among three adults killed during the incident, the third being shooter Salvador Ramos, 19, who murdered the two women and 19 young children.
Garcia had spent 23 years teaching, and had been nominated as a teacher of the year by the Uvalde Independent School District in 2019.
Sharing news of her death on Facebook, a nephew called John said: ‘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.’
Irma Garza, 46, has been named as the second teacher killed in the Texas elementary school massacre
The death of Garza’s co-teacher Eva Mireles, pictured, was confirmed on Tuesday evening
Fourth grade student Xavier Lopez, 10, was killed Tuesday when an 18-year-old gunman opened fire at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas. His mother had attended his awards ceremony just hours before the shooting, unaware that would be the last time she saw him
Uziyah Garcia, 9, (left) and Makenna Elrod, 10, (right) were both confirmed dead by loved ones on Facebook
Amerie Jo Garza (right) was confirmed dead by her father Angel Garza (left), who said: ‘My little love is now flying high with the angels above’
Eliahana ‘Elijah Cruz’ Torres, 10, was also identified among the deceased. The fourth grader, didn’t want to go to school on Tuesday, her grandfather said – but her family told her she had to
Close friend Lisa G Salazar shared a snap of herself embracing Garcia on her Facebook page, prompting an outpouring of emotion from stricken family members and friends.
Friend Danielle Boone also posted a tribute to Garcia on Facebook, writing: ‘No words are good enough. Irma Garcia was a sweet, funny, and gorgeous soul.
‘My heart aches for her amazing family. I’m so heartbroken. Lord please be with them all during this nightmare.’
Garcia’s murder was confirmed hours after that of her colleague Mireles. The five child victims so-far identified are Amerie Jo Garza, Xavier Lopez, Makenna Lee Elrod and Eliahana Cruz Torres, all aged 10, as well as nine year-old Uziyah Garcia.
Hauntingly, Mireles husband Ruben Ruiz, a police officer at Uvalde School District, held an active shooter drill at Uvalde High School, on March 22, two months before his wife’s murder. Both the gunman and the cop were once students at the school.
The 16 year-veteran was snapped in chilling Facebook photos where he and his fellow officers posed as active shooters, with students playing dead by laying on the floor of their school during the drill.
Slain Robb Elementary School teacher Eva Mireles, 44, with her husband Ruben Ruiz, 43, an officer in the Uvalde School District and their daughter Analynn Ruiz
In a eerily prescient scene, Uvalde School District police peer around a corner for an active shooter during a drill as students pretend to be dead on the hallway floor
An officer will a mock gun faces an attacker in the Uvalde High School auditorium during the active-shooter drills in March
Uvalde School District Police conducted active shooter live-training drills at the high school in March, two months before the massacre that killed 19 children
Officers listen to the theory regarding active-shooter response during a training course in March at the Uvalde High School
Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District Police Officer Ruben Ruiz, 43, the husband of slain teacher Eva Mireles, 44, trained in active shooter drills in March
Fourth grade teacher Eva Mireles, 44, was gunned down at Robb Elementary School on Tuesday. She was an avid hiker, runner and sometimes biker
The shooter, Salvador Ramos, 18, attacked the school Tuesday afternoon spraying bullets before he was shot and killed by a Customs and Border Patrol agent.
Photos posted on the Uvalde Police Department Facebook page show Ruiz in an active shooter lecture in the Uvalde High School cafeteria on March 22.
In a shot eerily similar to the devastation at the elementary school officers can be seen in photographs peering around a school hallway as several of the students lay on the floor in mock death.
Salvador Ramos, 18, shot his grandmother before going to Robb Elementary School in Uvalde; engaging border patrol agents nearby in a shootout; and then barricading himself inside the school, killing 14 students and a teacher
‘Our overall goal is to train every Uvalde area law enforcement officer so that we can prepare as best as possible for any situation that may arise,’ the department posted above photos of the drills.
Other shots of the drill show a man armed with a mock knife posed to attack a woman in what appears to be the auditorium.
Another shot shows the same mock assailant facing off with one of the training officer who is pointing an orange gun at him.
Ken Paxton, the attorney general for Texas, told Fox News that more teachers should carry guns.
‘We can’t stop bad people from doing bad things,’ he said, adding that he had ‘never understood that argument’.
‘We can harden these schools. We can create points of access that are difficult to get through.
‘We can potentially arm and prepare and train teachers and other administrators to respond quickly.
‘The reality is that we don’t have the resources to have law enforcement at every school.
A woman cries while speaking on the phone outside the Ssgt Willie de Leon Civic Center, where students had been transported from Robb Elementary School to be picked up following the shooting
A board with the list of classes and teachers is displayed outside the Ssgt Willie de Leon Civic Center
Annabelle Rodriquez, 10, pictured here, a student at Robb Elementary School is missing, her frantic father told FoxNews
‘So it takes time for law enforcement – now matter how prepared, no matter how good they are – to get there. So having the right training for some of these people at the school is the best hope.
Ruiz, who was born in Uvalde, became an officer in 2006 and worked as a patrolman, training officer, youth advisor detective and worked in the Organized Crime Unit. He’s trained in active shooter drills before and attended Advanced SWAT school. He joined the school district police in 2018.
Mireles, who taught special education at the Robb Elementary School for 17 years, was shot by Salvador Ramos, the 18-year-old shooter.
The mother of an adult daughter, the educator credited her ‘supportive, fun and loving family, including her four pets.
Her aunt Lydia Martinez Delgado called her the ‘fun of the party.’
Ramos shared photos on social media of guns. His account was taken down shortly after Governor Greg Abbott confirmed his name
Salvador Ramos, 18, from Uvalde, Texas, drove to the Robb Elementary School in his hometown after shooting his grandmother
Family photos emerged after the shooting showing the educator at the top of a long mountain range. She enjoyed hiking, biking and running in the great outdoors.
‘I’m furious that these shootings continue,’ Delgado said. ‘These children are innocent. Rifles should not be easily available to all. This is my hometown, a small community of less than 20,000. I never imagined this would happen to especially loved ones.’
Robb elementary student Xavier Lopez was also killed in the violence, according to a GoFundMe campaign set up by a cousin to help his parents raise money for the funeral. The family had already collected more than $10,000 by Tuesday night.
In addition to the 18 killed, another 13 children are being treated at the Uvalde Memorial emergency room along with a unnamed 45-year-old man who suffered a graze wound.
Parents are still frantically trying to find out if their children are among the dead. The father of 10-year-old Annabelle Guadalupe Rodriquez handed out photos to reporters and law enforcement, hoping that someone had seen his little girl.
Police said that they were working to inform families of the names of the dead as soon as they were able to identify the bodies.
University Health San Antonio also confirmed they received a child whose condition is currently unknown and a 66-year-old woman who is critical condition.
Robb Elementary School, which has 600 students enrolled, is located in the city of Uvalde, hometown of Matthew McConaughey, 60 miles east of the Mexican border and 80 miles west of San Antonio.
Concerned parents were captured at the scene desperately searching for their children and video from the chaotic scene showed police arriving to the school campus with their guns in hand.
One widely shared video appears to show the suspected gunman approach the school while what sounds like gunfire is going off in the background.
Videos taken in the immediate aftermath of the shooting show mothers frantically running towards the campus to collect their kids.
The school warned parents to stay away and instead collect their children from a rendezvous point after they had been ‘accounted for’.
‘Your cooperation is needed at this time by not visiting the campus. As soon as more information is gathered it will be shared.’
The district said that the city’s civic center will be used as a reunification center and that parents will be able to pick up their children there once everyone is accounted for.
A mobile morgue was seen arriving at the school on Tuesday.
America’s worst school shootings
There have been dozens of shootings and other attacks in U.S. schools and colleges over the years, but until the massacre at Colorado’s Columbine High School in 1999, the number of dead tended to be in the single digits. Since then, the number of shootings that included schools and killed 10 or more people has mounted. The most recent two were both in Texas.
ROBB ELEMENTARY SCHOOL, May 2022
An 18-year-old gunman opened fire Tuesday at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, killing 14 children, one teacher and injuring others, Gov. Greg Abbott said. The shooter died.
SANTA FE HIGH SCHOOL, May 2018
A 17-year-old opened fire at a Houston-area high school, killing 10 people, most of them students, authorities said. The suspect has been charged with murder.
MARJORY STONEMAN DOUGLAS HIGH SCHOOL, February 2018
An attack left 14 students and three staff members dead at the school in Parkland, Florida, and injured many others. The 20-year-old suspect was charged with murder.
UMPQUA COMMUNITY COLLEGE, October 2015
A man killed nine people at the school in Roseburg, Oregon, and wounded nine others, then killed himself.
SANDY HOOK ELEMENTARY SCHOOL, December 2012
A 19-year-old man killed his mother at their home in Newtown, Connecticut, then went to the nearby Sandy Hook Elementary School and killed 20 first graders and six educators. He took his own life.
VIRGINIA TECH, April 2007
A 23-year-old student killed 32 people on the campus in Blacksburg, Virginia, in April 2007; more than two dozen others were wounded. The gunman then killed himself.
RED LAKE HIGH SCHOOL, March 2005
A 16-year-old student killed his grandfather and the man’s companion at their Minnesota home, then went to nearby Red Lake High School, where he killed five students, a teacher and a security guard before shooting himself.
COLUMBINE HIGH SCHOOL, April 1999
Two students killed 12 of their peers and one teacher at the school in Littleton, Colorado, and injured many others before killing themselves.