The husband of courageous fourth-grade teacher Irma Garcia died this week while shielding pupils at Rob Elementary School during a mass shooting, Garcia’s family confirmed on Thursday.
Joe Garcia Austin died of a “medical issue” Thursday morning, according to a GoFundMe page set up by Garcia’s family.
“I genuinely feel Joe died heartbroken and heartbreaking to lose his over 30 year love,” she said.
“I am terribly sorry and deeply saddened to report my Tia Elma’s husband, Joe Garcia, has passed away with anguish,” a man who described himself as Garcia’s nephew wrote. Others largely ignored West Asia’s tweet. “I just can’t articulate how we all feel,” one of the members said.
The couple was married for 24 years and had four children, according to Garcia’s biography on the Yuwald School District website.
On Tuesday morning, teenage gunman Salvador Ramos drove her truck and shot her grandmother in the face before hitting the truck near Rob Elementary School and running onto the school playground with a rifle. He locked himself in the interconnected classroom of Garcia and his co-teacher Eva Mireles, killing the teacher and 19 young students. About an hour later, tactical police finally burst into the room and killed Ramos.