During the Robb Elementary mass shooting in Texas on Tuesday, a lone gunman killed 19 4th graders and two teachers. One of them was Amerie Jo Garza, aged 10, who tried to save everyone by calling 911.
Killer Salvador Ramos, aged 18, stormed the fourth-grade classroom at Robb Elementary in Uvalde just after 11:30 am. The teenage madman was armed with an AR-15 rifle.
"You're going to die," he allegedly told the children in the classroom before opening fire.
Amerie Jo started to dial 911, but she never got the chance to make the call before she was killed. The girl's grandmother shared a heartbreaking story.
"Instead of grabbing it and breaking it or taking it from her, he shot her. She was sitting right next to her best friend. Her best friend was covered in her blood."
"She died a hero trying to get help for her and her fellow classmates."
The Texas Department of Public Safety revealed that the victims were all killed in the same classroom. Except for the teachers, the victims were under 11 years old.
Authorities are currently assessing the situation and identifying all the victims. Among them is the perpetrator, who was gunned down by police.
The extent of the disaster is disheartening as the authorities count it as the deadliest shooting at a US elementary school since the Sandy Hook killings in 2012. So far, 17 children have been identified and named.
Ramon reportedly started the killing spree by shooting his 66-year-old grandmother after an argument between the two about the teenager's failure to graduate from Uvalde High School. The grandmother is currently in the hospital and critical condition.
Afterward, the teenage culprit drove the short distance to the school, where he crashed the car and entered the building armed with two rifles.
Ramon was earlier known by the police due to his violent arguments with his mother. He has been described as a self-harming loner and a bullying victim.
Somehow, the teenager saved about $5,000 to buy three hundred rounds of ammunition together with the two AR-15 rifles.
Apart from the 19 confirmed deaths, more than a dozen children were injured during the attack. A hospital located in Uvalde reported that 13 children were brought in on Tuesday. Their conditions are unknown, but the police warn that the death toll is expected to rise.
The 19 confirmed victims are described below.
Amerie Jo Garza, 10
She has been named a hero after trying to call 911 when the killer rushed into their classroom. The brave girl was shot to death while sitting next to her best friend.
Uziyah Garcia, 8
He is the youngest victim to be identified so far. "[He was] the sweetest little boy that I've ever known," his grieving grandfather Renfro said.
"I'm not just saying that because he was my grandkid."
Makenna Elrod, 10
The beloved girl was confirmed dead by her family.
"Sweet Makenna Rest in Paradise!! My heart is shattered as my daughter Chloe loved her so much!" the mother wrote on Facebook.
"It's pretty sad what this world's coming to," her father told the news station KTRK.
Xavier Lopez, 10
The beloved boy was the first victim to be identified. His mother told the Washington Post that she had been attending an honor roll ceremony that her son participated in.
She took a picture together of Xavier holding up his certificate, and she told her son how proud she was and that she loved him. 'He was funny, never serious, and his smile… that smile I will never forget. It would always cheer anyone up." she shared.
Eliahana Torres, 10
Torres played baseball in a little local league, and according to her great-grandfather, the girl had not wanted to attend school on the day of the tragedy.
Ellie Lugo, 10
Her parents confirmed her death.
"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," her father, Steven Lugo, said Wednesday.
"Mom and Dad love you never forget that, and please try and stay by our side."
"Our Nevaeh has been found. She is flying with the angels above. We love you, Navaeh, very much, princess," her cousin wrote on social media. The girl's age could not immediately be confirmed.
Tess Marie Mata
The girl's sister shared the tragic news on social media and described the sadness, confusion, and anger that she felt.
"Sissy, I miss you so much, I just want to hold you and tell you how pretty you are, I want to take you outside and practice softball, I want to go on one last family vacation, I want to hear your contagious laugh, and I want you to hear me tell you how much I love you," she wrote.
Rojelio Torres, 10
His family waited 12 hours since the shooting to receive the tragic news that their beloved boy had perished.
'We are devastated and heartbroken. Rojer was a very intelligent, hard-working, and helpful person. He will be missed and never forgotten," his aunt said.
Jayce Carmelo Luevanos, 10
"My babies going to miss them like crazy!!! We luv y'all so much!!! I'm just lost right now!!! Fly high, my beautiful Angels!!" the boy's uncle wrote on Facebook.
Jayce lost his life together with his ten-year-old cousin, Jailah, during the shooting.
Jailah Nicole Silguero, 10
"I took her to school, but she didn't want to go. She told her father, 'Can I stay home?'' the girl's mother shared. According to her, Jailah rarely made such requests.
"I think she knew something would happen."
Alithia Ramirez, 10
The girl's father was desperately searching for his daughter after the massacre. When he got the heartbreaking news that she had perished, he posted a photo of her with angel wings.
Annabell Guadalupe Rodriguez, 10
Her father searched for her when the news came that she had died in the school along with her cousin, who has yet to be identified.
Miranda Mathis, 11
"I'm so sorry this happen to u baby please keep my family in your prayers," her older cousin wrote on social media when the terrible news came that Miranda had died.
Alexandria 'Lexi' Aniyah Rubio, 10
"My beautiful, smart, Alexandria Aniyah Rubio was recognized today for All-A honor roll. She also received the good citizen award. We told her we loved her and would pick her up after school. We had no idea this was goodbye," her mother heartbreakingly shared.
She had attended the honor roll ceremony the same day as the attack.
"It is with a heavy heart I come on here on behalf of my cousin Ana who lost her sweet baby girl in yesterday's senseless shooting." a cousin of the girl's mother wrote on social media.
Jose Flores Jr, 10
Jose was another of the children receiving a certificate during the honor roll ceremony. His parents described him as an amazing boy full of energy.
Irma Garcia, 46 - fourth-grade teacher
Irma was a mother of four and had worked for 23 years at the Robb Elementary school. Her family described her as a hero who sacrificed herself trying to protect the children.
Eva Mireles, 44 - fourth-grade teacher
Mireles had worked in education for 17 years, and she left behind her husband.
The memories of the horrific event and the unnecessary waste of innocent lives will stay with us forever.