Texas elementary school shooting: What we know about the victims

UVALDE, Texas — An 18-year-old gunman opened fire at a school in Uvalde, Texas, shortly before noon Tuesday, killing at least 19 children and two adults, authorities said.

Although officials haven’t released the victims’ identities, family members have begun to share the names of those who died. All of the slain victims were in the same classroom, a state public safety official told The Associated Press.

>> RELATED STORY: Texas school shooting live updates

Here’s what we know so far:

Layla Salazar, 10

Layla Salazar was “just a whole lot of fun,” her father, Vincent Salazar, told The Washington Post.

Layla loved to swim and dance to TikTok videos, her father told the newspaper, and each morning when they drove to school, they would sing along to “Sweet Child O’ Mine” by Guns N’ Roses, the newspaper reported.

The child was also fast, winning six races during Robb Elementary School’s field day, USA Today reported. Vincent Salazar proudly posted a photo on Facebook of his daughter showing off two of her ribbons, according to the newspaper.

Eva Mireles, 44

Eva Mireles, a fourth grade teacher at Robb Elementary, had worked for the Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District for 17 years, her aunt said in a statement obtained by KSAT.

“I’m furious that these (shootings) continue,” Lydia Martinez Delgado said in the statement. “These children are innocent.”

Relative Amber Ybarra, 34, of San Antonio, described Mireles as adventurous, according to the AP.

“She is definitely going to be very missed,” Ybarra told the news agency.

Mireles’ husband, Ruben Ruiz, is a police officer for the school district’s police force, Reuters reported. Ruiz, in his capacity as an officer, was involved in an active shooter drill at a Uvalde high school just two months before Tuesday’s massacre, The Independent reported, saying photos posted on Ruiz’s Facebook page show him and fellow officers posing as active shooters.

Ybarra confirmed to CNN that a tribute posted about the teacher was from Mireles’ daughter, Adalynn.

“Mom, you are a hero. I keep telling myself that this isn’t real. I just want to hear your voice,” the tribute read.

>> RELATED STORY: Texas elementary school shooting: What we know now

Xavier Lopez, 10

Xavier Lopez, a fourth grader, also was killed in Tuesday’s rampage, family members told KSAT.

Just hours before the shooting, Xavier’s mother had been with him at the school for an awards ceremony, relatives said.

Cousin Lisa Garza, 54, of Arlington, described Xavier as a loving boy who had been looking forward to swimming this summer, according to the AP.

“He was very bubbly, loved to dance with his brothers, his mom,” she told the news agency. “This has just taken a toll on all of us.”

Amerie Jo Garza, 10

After hours of waiting for information, Angel Garza learned Tuesday night that his daughter, fourth grader Amerie Jo Garza, died in the shooting, according to KSAT and ABC News.

“Thank you everyone for the prayers and help trying to find my baby,” Garza said in a statement obtained by ABC News. “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, a medical aid that assisted at the scene, later told CNN’s Anderson Cooper that he learned of his daughter’s death while treating a survivor.

Uziyah Garcia, 8

In an interview with the AP, Manny Renfro described his grandson, Uziyah Garcia, as “the sweetest little boy that I’ve ever known.”

Renfro said the pair had fun during a recent visit on spring break.

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 told the AP. “There were certain plays that I would call that he would remember and he would do it exactly like we practiced.”

Irma Garcia

Irma Garcia, a fourth grade teacher at Robb Elementary, had taught at the school for 23 years, NBC News reported.

Garcia’s Son, Christian, confirmed his mother’s death to NBC News, adding that a friend in law enforcement who was at the scene saw Garcia shielding her students.

In 2019, Garcia was one of 19 teachers in the San Antonio area to be named a finalist for a prize that recognizes excellence in teaching, NBC News reported.

Garcia had four children.

Eliahana Cruz Torres, 10

Eliahana’s family confirmed to KSAT that they learned late Tuesday that she was one of the children killed.

Her grandfather told ABC News that Eliahana was a “beautiful young girl with a lot of energy.”

The Facebook page “Softball is For Girls” honored Eliahana, who was an avid softball player. In a post, Elihana’s aunt said that she was nervous and looking forward to a game that had been scheduled for Wednesday.

Annabell Guadalupe Rodriguez, 10

Rodriguez’s aunt confirmed the little girl’s death to ABC News, saying that Annabell was in the same classroom as her cousin, Jackie Cazares, who was also killed.

Annabell’s father spoke to KHOU Tuesday afternoon while searching for his daughter, saying, “They’re not letting us in at the hospital right now so we don’t know where to go.”

Jackie Cazares, 10

Cazares was in the same classroom as her cousin, Annabell, when she was killed, ABC News reported.

Family described the two girls as cousins, friends, and classmates to KSAT.

Rogelio Torres, 10

Rogelio’s father confirmed his son’s death to KHOU.

His aunt, Precious Perez, told KSAT, “Our entire family waited almost 12 hours since the shooting to find out Rogelio Torres, my 10-year-old nephew, was killed in this tragedy. We are devastated and heartbroken. (He) was a very intelligent, hard-working and helpful person. He will be missed and never forgotten.”

Jose Flores, 10

Jose’s uncle, Christopher Salazar, told The Washington Post that his nephew loved to play baseball.

“He was a very happy little boy. He loved both his parents ... and loved to laugh and have fun,” Salazar told The Washington Post.

Jose’s father, Jose Flores Sr., told CNN that his son loved video games, and was an amazing kid and big brother.

“He was always full of energy,” Flores told CNN. “Ready to play ‘til the night.”

Salazar told The Washington Post that hours before the shooting, Jose received an award for making the honor roll.

Neveah Bravo

Neveah’s cousin confirmed the fourth grader’s death, saying the child was “flying high,” BBC reported. Her cousin wrote on social media, “Unfortunately my beautiful Neveah was one of the many victim’s from today’s tragedy ... Rest in peace my sweet girl, you didn’t deserve this.”

Tess Mata

Tess’s big sister confirmed the fourth grader was shot and killed on social media, The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported.

In the post, Faith Mata said, “My precious angel you are loved so deeply. In my eyes you are not a victim but a survivor. I love you always past forever baby sister, may your wings soar higher than you could ever dream.”

A GoFundMe campaign was started by Tess’ family.

Alithia Ramirez, 10

Alithia’s father told KSAT that his daughter loved to draw and wanted to be an artist, and had recently entered a submission to the “Doodle for Google” contest.

Alithia had just turned 10 in April, and was looking forward to summer vacation, The Independent reported.

Alexandria Aniyah “Lexi” Rubio

Family members confirmed Lexi’s death on social media, describing her as a “bright light in everyone’s life,” BBC reported.

In a Facebook post, Lexi’s mother remembered her daughter, whom she called “beautiful” and “smart,” saying, “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,” The Independent reported.

Ellie Garcia, 10

Ellie Garcia’s parents remembered her on Facebook, with her father saying he had planned to DJ at her birthday party, The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported.

Ellie’s father, Steven, described his daughter as “a doll and the happiest ever,” BBC reported.

In a Facebook post, Ellie’s mother, Jennifer Lugo, posted, “My heart is shatter to pieces I love you baby girl I will never stop thinking of you!!!”

A video shared on Twitter includes a video of Ellie on her birthday, sending her love to her father. In the message, she says, “When you get off work, I’ll be there for you. I love you, dad.”

Jailah Nicole Seguero, 11

Jailah was in the same classroom as her cousin, Jayce Carmelo Luevanos, who was also killed, The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported.

In a Facebook post, Jailah’s mother, Veronica, posted a message with Jayce’s picture saying, “I’m so heartbroken my baby I love you so much mamas don’t ever forget that watch over me daddy and your sisters and big bro. Fly high baby girl.”

I'm so heart broken 💔 my baby I love u so much mamas don't ever forget that watch over me daddy and your sisters and big bro😭💔🕊 fly high baby girl😭

Posted by Veronica Luevanos on Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Jayce Carmelo Luevanos, 10

Family remembered Jayce on Twitter, saying “Rest in peace beautiful babies I will miss them so much. I still can’t believe we will never see them again, remember aunt, uncle and your cousin loves you so much. My heart is broken,” The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported.

In a Facebook post, Jayce’s aunt wrote, “Still can’t believe that we’re never gonna see you again,” BBC reported.

Makenna Lee Elrod, 10

Makenna, 10, was identified by her sister, Kadence, as one of the children killed, The Guardian reported.

In a tweet, Kadence said, “My baby sister has finally been found in a classroom... All I ask is that you hug your loved ones tonight and tell them you love them, you never know when you won’t have the chance to anymore.”

Maite Yuleana Rodriguez, 10

Maite had posed for honor roll photos prior to the shooting, The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported.

A cousin confirmed the child’s death on Facebook, calling Maite a “beautiful angel,” BBC reported.

Miranda Mathis, 11

Miranda and her brother both attended Robb Elementary School, The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported. Her brother was reported safe.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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