Teenager Left Orphaned By Texas Shooting Leaves Heartbreaking Tribute
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Featured Image Credit: Jamie and Debra Austin/GoFundMe/Alamy
The teenage daughter who was left orphaned by the Uvalde school shooting has left a heartbreaking tribute to her parents.
Irma Garcia, 48, was one of two teachers who was killed after a gunman opened fire at the Robb Elementary School in Texas on 24 May.
Fourth-grade teacher Eva Mireles and 19 students were also tragically killed by the perpetrator, who was later identified as 18-year-old Salvador Ramos.
Just two days after Irma lost her life, her husband of 24 years, Joe Garcia, died of a heart attack which his family put down to grief of losing his high school sweetheart.
One of the last things he did before he died was lay flowers at a memorial created for the victims of the shooting just outside of the town’s courthouse.
The couple leave behind four children, including 15-year-old Lyliana, who visited the memorial site to pay tribute to her late parents.
In a message to Irma and Joe, as seen by the Mirror, she said: "Dad, I know this was too much for you. Your heart could not take it.
"I will spend the rest of my life fighting for you and mum. Your names will not be forgotten. Your daughter, Lyliana."
A notice about the couple was also posted on the local mortuary, which reads: “Irma Linda Garcia of Uvalde, Texas, was welcomed by our Lord and Saviour while selflessly protecting her angels on May 24, 2022 in Uvalde, Texas, at the age of 48.
“Jose Antonio Garcia joined the love of his life and was also welcomed into the arms of his wife, Irma and our Lord on May 26, 2022.”
Last week, Joe’s cousin Debra Austin shared news of his passing via a GoFundMe page dedicated to the pair, which has since raised over $2.7 million.
i’m already being asked if there’s a gofund me and yes there is, Irma’s cousin set this up, even just a retweet would help https://t.co/9eSn3AaVfU— john martinez ❤️🔥 (@fuhknjo) May 26, 2022
The memorial was visited by the families of other victims over the weekend, including the parents of 10-year-old Annabell Rodriguez who were inconsolable as they read their tributes to their daughter.
Both Irma and Eva were said to have desperately tried to protect the students from the shooter as he opened fire.
Prior to arriving at the school, Ramos had also shot his grandma 66-year-old Celia Gonzalez and was later shot dead by police at the scene of the crime.
Celia is currently being treated in hospital along with other students who were wounded in the attack.
As well as bringing America’s gun laws into question, local police officers have been criticised after it was reported that they didn’t enter the classroom for more than 40 minutes after the attack began.
Colonel Steven McCraw, director of the Texas Department of Public Safety, said on Friday (May 27): “That was the wrong decision.”
If you have experienced a bereavement and would like to speak with someone in confidence contact Cruse Bereavement Care via their national helpline on 0808 808 1677