Texas school shooting: Girl Scouts award Uvalde victim rare Bronze Cross for bravery

UVALDE, Texas — Amerie Jo Garza, one of 19 students slain in the May 24 Robb Elementary mass shooting, was posthumously awarded the Bronze Cross by the Girl Scouts of the United States of America on Friday for attempting to save her classmates from the gunman’s rampage.

>> Read more trending news

Ten-year-old Garza, who tried to dial 911 on her cell phone as the shooting began, was one of the first children shot to death during Tuesday’s massacre in Uvalde, Texas, the child’s grandmother, Berlinda Arreola, confirmed to People magazine.

“We were so proud of her. It was so emotional, them reading this declaration to us for her, it was just — it’s amazing. The words that they put into this thing was all Amerie, it was her and we are just so ecstatic about this,” Arreola told People, noting that her granddaughter’s “heroism has not gone unnoticed.”

>> Related: Texas elementary school shooting: What we know about the victims

In a special page dedicated to Garza that shares ways to assist the victims, called Girl Scout Strong for Uvalde, the Girl Scouts of Southwest Texas explained that the Bronze Cross is awarded for “saving or attempting to save life at the risk of the Girl Scout’s own life.”

“On May 24, 2022, Amerie did all she could to save the lives of her classmates and teachers. It was our honor as Amerie’s council to present the Bronze Cross to her family, and Girl Scouts will continue to pay tribute to Amerie at her funeral services today with a Presentation of Colors. We will carry her story with us always and ensure her brave actions will endure for generations,” the statement read.

>> Related: Texas elementary school shooting: Here’s how to help

According to her council, Garza had completed her Girl Scout “bridging ceremony” the week before the shooting, making her new “Junior” rank official.

During Friday’s ceremony, representatives from the Girl Scouts presented Garza’s family with a new, green Girl Scouts sash for Troop 7000, with the Bronze Cross medallion pinned to it and a framed declaration signed by the organization’s CEO, People reported.

“She deserved it. Our baby gave up her life for this, but she deserved it,” Arreola told the magazine, adding, “I just want people to know how brave she was, and unfortunately, it took her life, but she tried to save everyone. That was just the way she was. She tried to save everyone.”