Irma Garcia and Eva Mireles have been teaching at Robb Elementary School for five years. They were found dead in a fourth-grade classroom on Tuesday, and families believe they were killed while attempting to shield pupils from enraged gunman.
The sole teachers slain in the incident in Uvald, Texas, were Garcia, 48, and Mireles, 44. Authorities say at least 19 children were also killed.
Authorities told Garcia’s family that the teacher was attempting to protect the child from the gunshots, according to his nephew.
“I want her to be remembered as someone who gave and risked her life for her children,” John Martinez, a nephew, said on Wednesday. “They aren’t just her pupils.” These are her children, and she put her life on the line and died to keep them safe. That’s the kind of person she is.”
Similar heroic actions have been reported in Mireles. Adalynn Ruiz commented on Facebook, “Mom, you are a hero.” “My heart will be devastated for the rest of my life.” It’s not true, I keep telling myself. “All I want to hear from you is to hear from you.”
Several medical facilities in Uwald, Texas, are calling for blood donations to help victims of Tuesday’s mass shooting at Rob Elementary School. (Video: Jared Moossy, Whitney Leaming/The Washington Post, Photo: Getty/The Washington Post)
Friends say Uwald, Texas, was bullied as a child. His behavior became increasingly violent and bizarre.
A spate of school shootings across the country since the Columbine High School massacre in 1999 has turned the once unimaginable into a real risk for American school teachers. Garcia and Mireles, like everyone else before them, were shot in the line of duty — a brutal fate historically belonged to law enforcement and the military. Kansas now has a National Monument to Fallen Educators whose names are written in stone.
Many of the people who taught Garcia and Mireles had just hit double-digit life expectancy: 10 years. Milestones for fourth graders. Their names include: Jose, Xavier, Navaya, Ellie, Tess.
The gunman took Tuesday’s jokes, cumbia dances and banging camera footage or TikTok videos in one fell swoop. He took away new honor roll winners and up-and-coming athletes — basketball players, softball second basemen. Laughter and rudeness, her love of drawing, the dollar bills she accumulated for a trip to Disney World.
Her teachers are also not lacking in energy. Garcia and Mireles posted happy greetings on the school website at the start of the school year.
Garcia wrote: “Hi boys! I can introduce myself. I’m Mrs Garcia and I will be one of your 4th grade teachers this year. Already looking forward to the start of the new school year!” You shared as “Interesting The fact that she likes to “have a barbecue with my husband, listen to music, go on a country cruise.”
“We’re having a great year!” Mireles wrote, adding that she has “a supportive, fun and loving family” and that she “loves to run, hike, and now you may see me ride a bicycle!”.