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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.
“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.
Uziyah Garcia, 8-year-old student
Uziyah Garcia, an 8-year-old student, was confirmed killed by 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.”
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.”
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.”
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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