In the hours after a lone gunman killed 19 children and two adults at a Texas elementary school on Tuesday, the victims have begun to be identified.
While some families made desperate pleas online to help find their missing children, other families mourned the loss of loved ones following the massacre at Robb Elementary School in the town of Uvalde, a seven-square-mile community located about 85 miles west of San Antonio.
Some names of those killed began to emerge by nightfall on Tuesday, many accompanied by photos of smiling children.
Eva Mireles, fourth-grade teacher
Eva Mireles, 44, was a fourth-grade teacher at the elementary school. Mireles was remembered as a mother and a wife with an “adventurous” spirit.
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“She was adventurous. I would definitely say those wonderful things about her. She is definitely going to be very missed,” said 34-year-old relative Amber Ybarra, of San Antonio.
Irma Garcia, fourth-grade teacher
Irma Garcia taught at Robb Elementary for more than 20 years and was a co-teacher with Eva Mireles, according to the Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District. She and her husband Joe were married for 24 years, and they had four children, according to her district biography.
She enjoyed barbecuing with her family, listening to music and traveling to Concan, Texas. Her eldest son Cristian was completing Marine Corps boot camp. Her son Jose is a student at Texas State University. She also had two daughters, Lyliana, who is in high school, and Alysandra, who is in middle school.
Uziyah Garcia, 8-year-old student
Uziyah Garcia, 8, was killed in the shooting, according to his grandfather, Manny Renfro.
“The sweetest little boy that I’ve ever known,” Renfro said. “I’m not just saying that because he was my grandkid.”
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Renfro recalled Uziyah last visited him in San Angelo during spring break, and described how they had enjoyed playing football together.
“We started throwing the football together and I was teaching him 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.”
Makenna Elrod, 10-year-old student
Makenna Elrod, a 10-year-old student, died in the shooting, according to her family on social media.
A post from Elrod’s sister on Twitter read, “My baby sister has finally been found in a classroom… thank you for everyone sending their love to my family and I. All I ask is that you hug your loved ones tonight and tell them you love them, you never know when you won’t have the chance to anymore.”
Her aunt, Allison McCullough, described Elrod as “beautiful, funny, smart and amazing.”
She said Elrod had a big heart and loved her family and friends, according to a GoFundMe page raising money to pay for funeral expenses.
“Her smile would light up a room. We will carry her in our hearts and we know she is with our Lord and Savior,” McCullough wrote.
Jose Flores Jr., 10-year-old student
Jose Flores Jr., a 10-year-old student, died in the attack, according to his uncle.
Christopher Salazar described his nephew to the Washington Post as a “very happy little boy” who loved his parents and loved to laugh.
He told the outlet that Flores Jr has just been rewarded for making the honor roll.
“He was very smart,” Salazar said. “He wasn’t a kid who would look for trouble.”
Rojelio Torres, 10-year-old student
Rojelio Torres, a 10-year-old student, was killed in the shooting, according to his cousin on social media.
Torres’ father was initially desperately searching for him, according to KHOU-TV.
His father told the station that he was at work when he learned about the shooting and immediately rushed to the school to look for his son.
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Xavier Lopez, 10-year-old student
Xavier Lopez, a 10-year-old student, was mourned by family members who learned of his death.
Xavier’s cousin, 54-year-old Lisa Garza of Arlington, Texas, said that he was looking forward to spending the summer months swimming.
“He was just a loving 10-year-old little boy, just enjoying life, not knowing that this tragedy was going to happen today,” she said. “He was very bubbly, loved to dance with his brothers, his mom. This has just taken a toll on all of us.”
Xavier’s uncle, Benito Martinez, told Fox News Digital that his nephew was a quirky kid, and reminded parents to treasure their loved ones.
“For everybody else that has kids out here, cherish these moments just like your parents cherished you every day,” Martinez said. “Tomorrow’s not promised, so make today worth it.”
Amerie Jo Garza, 10-year-old student
Amerie Jo Garza, 10, had just celebrated making the honor roll in her fourth-grade class, according to a photo obtained by KSAT-TV. Amerie Jo’s father confirmed on Facebook that his daughter was killed after a desperate 7-hour search to find her, the outlet reported.
Angel Garza wrote on Facebook: “Thank you everyone for the prayers and help trying to find my baby. 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.”
Garza later posted: “I will never be happy or complete again.”
Annabelle Guadalupe Rodriguez, 10-year-old student
Annabelle Guadalupe Rodriguez, 10, who did not make contact with her family in the hours after the shooting, was among those who died, her father told Fox 7 Austin.
Elijah Cruz Torres, a 10-year-old student
Elijah Cruz Torres, 10, was also unaccounted for in the hours following the shooting spree. The 4th-grade student’s grandfather told Fox News on Tuesday the family is worried she is dead.
Elijah’s family confirmed her death to Fox News on Wednesday morning.
Eliahna Garcia, 10-year-old student
Relatives of 10-year-old Eliahna Garcia learned late Tuesday that she was among those killed, her aunt, Siria Arizmemdi said.
“She was very happy and very outgoing,” Arizmendi, a fifth-grade teacher at Flores Elementary School in the same school district, said Wednesday. “She loved to dance and play sports. She was big into family, enjoyed being with the family.”
Jayce Carmelo Luevanos, 10-year-old student
Jayce Carmelo Luevanos reportedly did not want to go to school Tuesday.
“Still can’t believe that we’re never gonna see you again,” his aunt wrote on Facebook.
Jaliah Nicole Silguero, 10-year-old student
Jaliah Nicole Silguero was the cousin of Jayce Carmelo Luevanos.
Her mother, Veronica Luevanos, told Univision that her daughter did not want to go to school Tuesday and that she sensed something bad was going to happen.
“Fly high baby girl,” her mother wrote on Facebook.
Tess Mata, 10-year-old student
Tess Mata, who went by Tessy, was a fourth-grader who loved TikTok dance videos, Ariana Grande and the Houston Astros, the Washington Post reported.
Loved ones initially thought the lockdown at the elementary school was because of people possibly trying to flee police after crossing the southern border, her sister told the newspaper.
“Sissy I miss you so much,” Mata’s sister, Faith wrote on Facebook.
Alexandria Aniyah Rubio, fourth-grade student
The mother of Alexandria Aniyah Rubio, a fourth grader at Robb Elementary, was full of pride when she posted a family photo on Facebook to boast about her daughter’s “All-A honor roll” she received for excellent grades.
“She also received the good citizen award,” Kimberly Mata-Rubio wrote. “We told her we loved her and would pick her up after school. We had no idea this was goodbye.”
Jackie Cazares, 10-year-old student
Jackie Cazares was killed along with her cousin Annabelle Rodriguez, according to reports. The pair were also classmates at Robb Elementary.
Nevaeh Bravo, fourth-grade student
Nevaeh Bravo’s death was confirmed by her cousin’s social media, according to local reports.
“Unfortunately my beautiful Nevaeh was one of the many victims from today’s tragedy… Rest in peace my sweet girl, you didn’t deserve this,” the post read.
Layla Salazar, 10-year-old student
Layla loved to swim, dance to TikTok video and was “just a whole lot of fun,” her father, Vincent Salazar said. He recalled his daughter was fast, winning six races at the school’s field day, and posting a photo of Layla showing off two of her ribbons on Facebook.
Salazar said Layla loved to jam out with him to “Sweet Child O’ Mine,” by Guns N’ Roses each morning as he drove her to school in his pickup.
He wrote in a Facebook post that the song was “the only thing that’s bringing me peace right now.”
Alithea Ramirez, 10-year-old student
Alithea was one of the 19 fourth-grade students killed, her father, Ryan Ramirez, told KSAT-TV.
Her father said she loved to draw and aspired to be an artist, having set out to fulfill her dream when she recently sent in a drawing for a Google Doodle contest.
What we know so far
Officials did not immediately reveal a motive, but they identified the assailant as 18-year-old Salvador Ramos, a resident of Uvalde. Law enforcement officials said Ramos acted alone and was killed by a Border Patrol agent who rushed into the school without waiting for backup.
The assault at Robb Elementary School was the deadliest shooting at a U.S. grade school since a gunman killed 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut, almost a decade ago.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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