Uvalde, Texas is facing an unimaginable tragedy that has left multiple parents and family members in mourning. On May 24, Salvador Ramos walked into Robb Elementary School and fatally shot 19 children and two adults.
On Tuesday morning, 18-year-old Ramos walked into an elementary school and opened fire on innocent students and their teachers. He was a troubled teenager who was known to have few friends and be aggressive in various situations. Just days after he turned 18 years old, he legally purchased two firearms. He murdered 21 individuals before he was fatally shot by police officers on site.
The list of children (mostly fourth graders) and adults he killed is devastatingly long. It's easy to politicize this tragic event already, but this week our focus should be primarily on remembering the victims and supporting their families in whatever way we can. Here are all the people who lost their lives on May 24.
Eva Mireles, 44
Mireles was a teacher for 17 years, and she taught fourth grade at Robb Elementary School. Her husband, Ruben Ruiz, is a police officer in Uvalde who was called onto the scene when the shooter was active. He walked away unharmed. Mireles' daughter, Adalynn, wrote a tribute to her mother yesterday and shared it on Twitter. "Mom, you are a hero," she wrote. "I keep telling myself that this isn't real. I just want to hear your voice."
"I will take care of our dogs and I will forever say your name so you are always remembered, Eva Mireles, 4th grade teacher at Robb Elementary who selflessly jumped in front of her students to save their lives," Adalynn said.
Mireles' cousin, Amber Ybarra, told NBC that Mireles was an incredible cook and "she put her heart into everything that she did."
Irma Garcia, 48
Another teacher was shot and killed on Tuesday. Garcia taught at Robb Elementary School for 23 years, and she was married for 24 years with four children. Her nephew John Martinez posted a tribute to his late aunt, saying she was "loved by many and will truly be missed."
“She sacrificed herself protecting the kids in her classroom ... she died a HERO," he wrote.
Martinez organized a GoFundMe page that has raised more than $220,000 in donations to Garcia's family. You can donate here. The expenses will be used for funeral and family needs.
Sadly, Irma's husband Joe passed away today, just two days after the school shooting. He suffered a fatal heart attack that the Garcias' nephew believes is the result of a "broken heart."
Jackie Cazares, 10
Javier Cazares is Jackie's father, and he told the press that she "was full of love" and she was eager to help her friends when they were in need. "To me, she's a firecracker," he said. When he arrived at the school upon hearing about the shooting, he was upset that the police weren't moving into the building. He suggested the parents charge into the school themselves.
“Let’s just rush in because the cops aren’t doing anything like they are supposed to,” he told the Associated Press. “More could have been done. They were unprepared."
Jailah Nicole Silguero, 11, and Jayce Carmelo Luevanos, 10
Jailah and Jayce were cousins who attended Robb Elementary School together. A cousin of theirs told ABC News ,"They were nothing but loving baby angels, always had a smile on their face just full of life. I can't believe this happened to our angels."
Jose Flores, Jr., 10
Jose's uncle, Christopher Salazar, confirmed his nephew's death and said the fourth grader enjoyed playing baseball and "loved both his parents... and loved to laugh and have fun." Jose has two brothers and a sister, and the morning of the shooting he received an award for making the honor roll.
Layla Salazar, 10
Yesterday, Layla's father shared photos on his Facebook and said goodbye to his daughter. "Yesterday we lost our heart our whole world," he wrote. "We Love you Baby girl Daddy is sorry I wasn't there to protect you when you needed me the most we Love you so much fly high my little angel fly high..."
He posted various photos of Layla spending time with her family, dressing up on Halloween, and winning awards at school.
Makenna Lee Elrod, 10
"Her smile would light up a room," Makenna's aunt said. The 10-year-old loved to dance, sing, do gymnastics, and spend time with her family. She "made friends everywhere she went" and had a particular love for animals. Makenna is remembered as "a light to all who knew her."
Last night, Raquel Silva posted on Facebook in remembrance of Maite, who was her cousin's daughter. "It is with a heavy heart I come on here on behalf of my cousin Ana who lost her sweet baby girl in yesterday's senseless shooting we are deeply saddened by the lose of this sweet smart little girl," she wrote. "Our hearts are shattered. Keep the Coronado Rodriguez family in your prayers, this senseless act of violence hit close to home. Pray for their comfort and consider donating to help with the expenses related to this tragedy. Words can’t describe the grieve this brings to our souls."
Miranda Mathis, 11
Miranda's family tried to search for her on the day of the tragic shooting but were unsuccessful in finding her alive. Her cousin posted a picture of Miranda with angel wings on her Facebook page, saying, "My sweet baby cousin we loved u dearly I'm so sorry this happen to u baby please keep my family in your prayers."
Nevaeh Bravo, 10
Nevaeh's age hasn't been confirmed, but her cousin tweeted that she was in fact shot and killed on Tuesday. "Unfortunately my beautiful Nevaeh was one of the many victims from todays tragedy," she wrote. "Thank you for the support and help. Rest in peace my sweet girl, you didn’t deserve this."
Rojelio Torres, 10
According to Rojelio's aunt, his family waited nearly 12 hours after the shooting to find out that the 10-year-old was killed. “We are devastated and heartbroken. Rojer was a very intelligent, hard-working and helpful person. He will be missed and never forgotten," she said.
Tess Marie Mata
Faith Mata, Tess's older sister, posted a goodbye message on her Facebook for Tess. "My sweet baby sister, I would’ve never thought I would be typing something like this. I honestly have no words just sadness, confusion, and anger," she wrote. "Sissy I miss you so much, I just want to hold you and tell you how pretty you are, I want to take you outside and practice softball, I want to go on one last family vacation, I want to hear your contagious laugh, and I want you to hear me tell you how much I love you."
Faith expressed anger "because a coward took you from us." She finds solace knowing that she has "one sassy guardian angel that I know is going to protect our family."
Uziyah Garcia, 8
Uziyah's grandfather told the Associated Press that he visited him during spring break this year and that was the last time he saw him. They played football and he taught Uziyah pass patterns. "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.”
“The sweetest little boy that I’ve ever known,” Uziyah's grandfather said. “I’m not just saying that because he was my grandkid.”
Xavier Lopez, 10
The last time Xavier's mother saw him was at the school's awards ceremony, where he was awarded the honor roll. This was only a couple hours before Ramos opened fire in the building. Xavier's grandmother Amelia Sandoval told ABC News that he loved to play baseball and was often referred to as the "life of the party."
"You send your kids to school thinking they are coming home," Sandoval said. "And then they're not. We loved him very much and he will be greatly missed."
Amerie Jo Garza, 10
"Thank you everyone for the prayers and help trying to find my baby," Amerie's father told ABC News. "She's been found. My little love is now flying high with the angels above. Please don't take a second for granted. Hug your family. Tell them you love them. I love you Amerie Jo. Watch over your baby brother for me."
She had only turned 10 years old on May 10.
Alithia Ramirez, 10
Rosa Maria Ramirez, the grandmother of Alithia, told ABC News that Alithia "loved to draw" and was "a very talented little girl."
Annabell Guadalupe Rodriguez, 10
Annabell's sister announced on Facebook that, after much searching for her, Annabell was shot and killed on Tuesday. "My little sister didn’t make it she’s no longer with us my poor sweet little girl," Lidia Anthony Luna wrote. "Why god why these sweet babies who didn’t deserve this who were all happy for summer vacation now there dancing up in the sky watching over us."
Eliahana Cruz Torres, 10
The fourth-grade softball player was supposed to play her last game of the school year the day of the shooting. Eliahana's family was looking for her on Tuesday and were confused as to why they couldn't get a hold of her. Unfortunately, they learned later in the day that she had died.
Eliana Garcia, 9
At 9:30pm on Tuesday, Eliana's parents were called into a room by officials, where they learned that their 9-year-old daughter died. Her grandfather said he knew as soon as he heard Eliana's parents being called inside that she had been shot and killed.
Alexandria Aniyah Rubio
The mother of Alexandria said goodbye to her daughter on Facebook late last night. She shared a photo of herself, Alexandria, and her husband.
"My beautiful, smart, Alexandria Aniyah Rubio was recognized today for All-A honor roll," she wrote. "She also received the good citizen award. We told her we loved her and would pick her up after school. We had no idea this was goodbye."
How To Help the Victims' Families
It can feel extremely disheartening watching this kind of tragedy unfold without any way of helping the heartbroken parents. There is nothing worse in this world than losing a young child. If you're curious about how you can provide assistance, you can start by considering a donation to the families so they can pay for funeral expenses, have groceries and meals provided without having to think about it, and temporarily pay bills so they can grieve in peace.
GoFundMe has made a way for you to figure out which accounts are legitimate. You can see clearly which families are gathering donations in the wake of their children's deaths. Joe and Irma Garcia's (the slain teacher and her husband who died of a heart attack two days later) family have already raised more than $330,000. Eliahna Garcia's page has raised nearly $70,000. You can peruse through various donation pages and support whoever you can.
If you are local or live in Texas, you can donate blood or donate to University Health to help them attain more supplies.
No matter how you lend a hand, it's the time to give and support to these devastated families. There are many different ways they can be lifted up during this difficult time.