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Family members have identified the first victims of a shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, on Tuesday after a gunman opened fire and killed at least nineteen children and two teachers in the nation’s deadliest school shooting in over a decade.
Family members of victims identified three children and two teachers who died in the shooting to news outlets.
Fourth grader Amerie Jo Garza, whose father told ABC News turned 10 on May 10, was “super-outgoing” and a “teacher’s pet” and died while calling 911, her grandmother told The Daily Beast.
Fourth grader Xavier Javier Lopez, 10, was described by his cousin as “very bubbly” and someone who “loved to dance” with family; he had reportedly been at an awards ceremony with his mother just hours before the shooting happened.
Uziyah Garcia, 8, was also among the children killed and the “sweetest little boy that I’ve ever known,” his grandfather said.
Fourth-grade teacher Eva Mireles, 44, who worked as an educator for 17 years and was married to a local police officer, was named by family as one of the teachers killed in the shooting.
Irma Garcia, who had spent her entire 23-year career at the school and also taught fourth grade, according to the school website, reportedly “sacrificed herself protecting the kids in her classroom.”
Tuesday’s tragedy near San Antonio marks the deadliest school shooting in the country since the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary more than a decade ago and is the deadliest in Texas’ history. The gunman, identified as 18-year-old Salvador Ramos, also died and was likely killed by responding officers, officials said. He is believed to have acted alone and law enforcement said he shot his grandmother before heading to the school. She reportedly survived and is critically wounded. Ramos reportedly posted images of two assault rifles on a now-deleted Instagram account several days before the shooting, as well as sending and posting threatening messages and videos on social media. Uvalde Memorial Hospital said thirteen children and a man in his 40s were being treated for injuries, according to CNN, with University Hospital in San Antonio receiving a child and 66-year-old woman, reportedly in critical condition, from the shooting.
“When in God’s name are we going to stand up to the gun lobby?” President Joe Biden asked in an address on Tuesday evening as he urged lawmakers to pass “common-sense” gun control laws. “Why are we willing to live with this carnage? Why do we keep letting this happen? Where in God’s name is our backbone?”
19 Children Killed In Texas Elementary School Shooting As Biden Urges Americans To ‘Stand Up’ To Gun Industry (Forbes)