In the hours since Tuesday’s deadly shooting at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, some family members are beginning the unimaginable mourning process after learning that their loved one was taken from them. Others, meanwhile, are still trying to find their missing child, praying that their biggest fear isn’t about to become a reality.
At least 19 students and two teachers were killed Tuesday at Robb Elementary in Uvalde, Texas, in what is now the deadliest mass shooting at a school since the Sandy Hook tragedy in 2012. Officials have not revealed a motive for the shooting but have said the shooter, who died on the scene, was a resident of the community and acted alone.
While law enforcement officers have not revealed the full list of names of those killed in the tragedy, family members and loved ones have begun paying tribute to the lives lost in the unthinkable — and avoidable — tragedy.
Makenna Lee Elrod, age 10
Allison McCullough told ABC News that her niece Makenna Lee Elrod was a playful, active girl who enjoyed spending time with family. “Her smile would light up a room,” she said. “She was full of life and will live on in the hearts of all who knew and loved her.”
Kadence Elrod paid tribute to her “innocent baby sister” on social media, sharing a photo of the two together at a graduation. “All I ask is that you hug your loved ones tonight and tell them you love them,” she wrote on Twitter. “You never know when you won’t have the chance to anymore #EnoughIsEnough”
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#EnoughIsEnough pic.twitter.com/1dKuIwdav7
— kadence elizabeth (@kkadence_) May 25, 2022
Jose Flores Jr., age 10
“Jose was the only one who didn’t make it out,” Jose Flores Jr.’s aunt Lydia Salazar Torrez told Rolling Stone. “It’s horrible. We can’t even believe this has happened. We can’t. It shouldn’t have happened. Jose was nothing but heaven. He’s his mom’s first-born. He was in a good mood all the time, always saying hello to everybody. It’s a tragedy. It’s something that the whole world is never going to forget.”
Ellie Garcia, age 10
Ellie Garcia’s father and mother, Steven Garcia and Jennifer Lugo, had been sharing social media messages in a desperate search for their daughter on Tuesday. By that evening, Garcia confirmed that their daughter died. “It’s hard to issue out a statement on anything right now my mind is going at 1000 miles per hour… but I do wanna send our thoughts and prayers to those who also didn’t make it home tonight!!! Our Ellie was a doll and was the happiest ever,” Garcia wrote on Facebook. He added: “Mom and Dad love you never forget that and please try and stay by our side, Amor!”
Irma Garcia, age 46
A co-teacher in Eva Mireles’ 4th grade classroom, Irma Garcia’s death was confirmed by her son Christian, who was told by law enforcement that Garcia was seen shielding her students from the gunman, NBC News reported. She taught at Robb Elementary for 23 years, according to her school district profile. Her nephew, Joey, shared a photo of the two of them together on social media. “My tia [aunt] did not make it, she sacrificed herself protecting the kids in her classroom” Joey wrote, calling her a hero.
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.❤️🔥 pic.twitter.com/zM54TbooZZ
— Joey.mtz (@Joeymtz4) May 25, 2022
Uziyah Garcia, age 8
“The sweetest little boy that I’ve ever known,” Uziyah Garcia’s grandfather Manny Renfro told the Associated Press. “I’m not just saying that because he was my grandkid.”
We're learning more about the Texas victims this morning. This is Uziyah Garcia, 8. This photo was from spring break, provided by his grandpa.
Photo: AP/Manny Renfrohttps://t.co/yrc4v666Xx pic.twitter.com/zz62LMZY3q
— WLKY (@WLKY) May 25, 2022
Amerie Jo Garza, age 10
Amerie Jo Garza was “full of life, a jokester, always smiling,” her father Angel told the New York Times. “She was very social. She talked to everybody.”
Angel added on social media, “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.”
“My little love is now flying high with the angels above,” said the father of 10-year-old Amerie Jo Garza.
— ABC7 Eyewitness News (@ABC7) May 25, 2022
Xavier Javier Lopez, age 10
Xavier Javier Lopez’s family confirmed his death at Robb Elementary, KSAT reports. Hours earlier, Lopez’s mother was with him at an awards ceremony prior the shooting.
This is 10-year-old Xavier. His family confirms to @ABC that he was shot and killed at school today in Uvalde, TX. He was in 4th grade. His cousin says, Xavier's mom was at his award ceremony 1-2 hours prior to the shooting, not knowing it would be the last time she saw her son. pic.twitter.com/fDFOH9egFF
— Abigail Ogle (@KOCOAbigail) May 25, 2022
Eva Mireles, age 44
A fourth-grade teacher at Robb Elementary and 17-year educator, Eva Mireles — like her co-teacher Irma Garcia — was “trying to protect her students” from the gunman, a relative told the New York Times. “She is a hero,” Mireles’ cousin Amber Ybarra told the Today show.
Mireles’ daughter, Adalynn, shared a heartfelt message to her mom on social media. “Mom, you are a hero. I keep telling myself that this isn’t real. I just want to hear your voice,” she wrote, sharing cherished memories with her mom and thanking her for everything. She added: “You are so known by many now and I’m so happy that people know your name and that beautiful face of yours and they know what a hero looks like.”
“She was the most outgoing and generous person, always happy. She’d do anything for all the kids she taught and all my little cousins and nieces and nephews,”Johnny Delgado, Mireles’ cousin, told Rolling Stone. “She was a little older than me, but she’s always been there for me if I ever needed someone to talk to.”
My sweet mommy , I will miss you forever. 🤍🕊 pic.twitter.com/SIxKrgX6Xi
— Adalynn ✞💛 (@addy_celeste) May 25, 2022
Alithia Ramirez, age 10
Alithia Ramirez enjoyed drawing and hoped to be an artist, her father Ryan Ramirez told KSAT, adding that he was working to gather the family in the wake of his daughter’s death. “That’s what my daughter would want us to do, is to be strong.”
Maite Rodríguez, age 10
Relatives of 10-year-old Maite Rodriguez confirmed her death to Rolling Stone, describing the fourth grader as joyful, smart and always looking out for others. “She was always excited and happy – so much fun to be around. She loved going to the beach,” Felix Coronado, the brother of Maite’s grandfather, tells Rolling Stone. “We heard from a kid who survived in the room, he told us that she did everything she could to help the other kids.” A GoFundMe set up by the family asked for support for Maite’s mom, Ana Rodriguez.
“She was her mommy’s only girl,” relative Aiko Coronado wrote on Facebook. “She was her mom’s best friend. She was the light of her life.”
Jailah Nicole Silguero, age 10
Verónica Luevanos, whose 10-year-old daughter Jailah Nicole Silguero died, spoke with Univision in an emotional interview. “I went to take her to school, but she didn’t want to go,” Luevanos tearfully said in Spanish. “She always loves going to school but she told her dad, ‘Can I stay home?’ And her dad told her to ask me. She always likes going to school, but she didn’t want to go yesterday. I think she knew something was going to happen.”
“I can’t believe this happened to my daughter, my baby,” Jacob Silguero told the New York Times. “It’s always been a fear of mine to lose a kid.”
Additional reporting by Tomás Mier