The two teachers murdered in Texas’ school shooting died as heroes trying to protect kids from the spray of bullets.
Irma Garcia, 46, and Eva Mireles, 44, were killed alongside 19 children on Tuesday when evil gunman Salvador Ramos stormed Robb Elementary School in one of the worst school shootings in US history.
The two teachers used their bodies as human shields as Ramos barricaded himself in their classroom and began to shoot. Relatives of the two teachers say that they had died trying to protect the children as though they were their own:
“She passed away with children in her arms trying to protect them.” Said Garcia’s nephew John Martinez.
“Those weren’t just her students, they were her kids as well.”
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/2XpdJA0q8x
— john martinez ❤️🔥 (@fuhknjo) May 25, 2022
It was reported yesterday that Garcia’s husband, Joe, tragically died of a heart attack family say was brought on by stress and grief. The couple had four children aged 23, 19, 15, and 13.
The third-grade teacher had taught at Robb’s Elementary for 23 years and was previously named ‘teacher of the year.’
She specialized in reading, social studies, and ELAR.
According to the kids Garcia taught, she was open and friendly and treated them like family members – sharing details of her home life with her students, including her love of having barbeques with her husband.
“EXTREMELY heartbreaking and come with deep sorrow to say that my Tia Irma’s husband Joe Garcia has passed away due to grief, I truly am at a loss for words for how we are all feeling. PLEASE PRAY FOR OUR FAMILY. God have mercy on us. This isn’t easy,” wrote Martinez in a Tweet.
The family opened a GoFundMe page to raise money for the cost of the funerals. In addition, Garcia’s husband and son posted a photo on Facebook holding a heart-shaped sign reading “Proud Bobcat Family,” showing their support for the Texas State team.
Mireles’ daughter gave tribute to her mother on Wednesday, promising that she would look after her father and the family dog. The heartbroken but proud daughter told how her selfless mom had “jumped in front of students”:
“I don’t know how to do this life without you, but I will take care of dad. I will take care of our dogs, and I will forever say your name so you are always remembered, Eva Mireles, 4th grade teacher at Robb Elementary who selflessly jumped in front of her students to save their lives,” Adalynn Ruiz wrote on Facebook.
The school’s website tribute to the fallen teacher says Mireles loved the outdoors, running, hiking, and walking with the family’s “three furry friends.”
Special Education Teacher Eva Mireles, was shot multiple times by #SalvadorRamos as she was trying to protect her 8 and 10 yr old special needs students. May the Lord rest your soul /comfort your family.. Truly Heartbreaking🌿#EvaMireles#RobbElementaryschool #ProLifeMyAss pic.twitter.com/a5PyKgpKjS
— Kitt Bartell (@KittBartel) May 25, 2022
Her husband, Ruben Ruiz, is a police officer on the school district’s police force.
Writing on social media, Mireles’ daughter, Adalynn Ruiz, explained how she had taken a photo of her mom for the school’s website and how the special education teacher had a “special place in her heart” for the kids she taught:
“I remember my mom making me take this picture of her and she had me take like 50 before she found one she liked, she wanted it to be perfect because she had to send it into the school website for her students to see, my mom had a special place in her heart for her students . Remember this hero”.