A gunman opened fire in a horrific attack on an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, on Tuesday — killing 19 young students and two teachers, who were all inside the same fourth-grade classroom, officials said.
The children, mostly around 10 years old, were slaughtered just days before their summer vacation was set to begin. It was the deadliest school shooting since Sandy Hook in 2012.
Loved ones have started to identify their family members who were killed in the attack.
Jailah, said to be 10 or 11 years old, didn’t want to go to school on Tuesday, her grandmother told the Daily Beast — but her mom insisted that she go to class, as she only had a couple of days left in the school year.
Her grandmother said the girl’s mother, Veronica Luevanos, was distraught that she didn’t let her daughter stay home. “That’s what her mama was really upset about last night: ‘If only I had let her stay home.’”
“The girl was disappointed,” added the grandmother, Linda Gonzales. “She wanted to stay home with mama.”
Jailah’s cousin, Jayce Carmelo Luevanos, was also killed in the classroom.
Jayce Carmelo Luevanos, 10
Jayce was also killed at school, his family said. “He was our baby,” his grandfather, Carmelo Quiroz, told USA Today.
Jayce and Jailah’s family had already been mourning the loss of Jailah’s grandfather on Tuesday when the shooting unfolded.
“They were just so sweet,” Gonzales said. “They were sweet kids and lovable. What can you say about little innocent kids?”
Nevaeh was among the 19 children killed at Robb Elementary. Her mom told NBC affiliate KXAS-TV that her favorite color was pink.
Her grandmother, Esmeralda Bravo, said Nevaeh was shy, and a good child, and that she didn’t deserve to die.
Alexandria “Lexi” Aniyah Rubio, 10
Lexi, like many of her classmates, had attended an honor roll ceremony at school before she was killed by a gunman on Tuesday. Her father, Felix Rubio, is an Uvalde County sheriff’s deputy who responded to the massacre.
Her family told CNN“: She was kind, sweet and appreciated life. She was going to be an all-star in softball and had a bright future, whether it’s sports or academic. Please let the world know we miss our baby.”
Her mother, Kimberly, wrote on Facebook: “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.”
Makenna Elrod, 10
Makenna’s father was desperately searching for the 10-year-old on Tuesday. He asked a reporter if she knew where the funeral home was.
The girl’s sister, Kadence, later tweeted that Makenna had died in the attack.
“My baby sister has finally been found in a classroom,” she wrote alongside a photo that read: “My sweet innocent baby sister… my heart will forever break for you my love…I love you with my whole heart kenna wenna. have fun with your angels up in heaven baby girl.”
“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,” she added. “#EnoughIsEnough.”
Miranda Mathis, 11
Miranda, who had just turned 11 years old, died in Tuesday’s school shooting, according to a family friend. “Please send your prayers,” the person wrote on Twitter.
According to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, she attended Robb Elementary with her brother.
Layla Salazar, 10
Layla’s father, Vincent Salazar, said the 10-year-old loved to swim and dance along to TikTok videos.
The young girl won six of Robb Elementary’s field day races, according to her dad, who said every morning when he drove Layla to school, they would listen and sing along to “Sweet Child O’ Mine,” by Guns N’ Roses.
“She was just a whole lot of fun,” he said.
Maite, who died in the attack, was described as a “sweet baby girl” by her mom’s cousin, Felix Coronado, who put together a GoFundMe that raised more than $26,000 as of Thursday morning.
Another family member, Aiko Coronado, described Maite as a “little girl full of life.”
“She had a beautiful smile and so kind to others she was her mommy’s only girl she was her moms best friend she was the light of her life! She was beyond smart her dream was to attend Texas A&M University to become a marine biologist she knew what she wanted in life.
“Her mom wants everyone to know that her baby girl had a dream,” the Facebook post read. “Fly high baby girl we love you!”
Amerie Jo Garza, 10
Amerie Jo’s grandmother Berlinda Irene Arreola told the Daily Beast that the girl started to dial 911 but died before she could call for help.
“So the gunman went in and he told the children, ‘You’re going to die.’ And she had her phone and she called 911,” survivors and authorities told her of her granddaughter. “And 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.”
“My little love is now flying high with the angels above,” Amerie Jo’s dad, Angel, wrote on Facebook. “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.”
Angel told CNN that he's a med aide and he learned Amerie Jo was one of the victims when he responded to the scene. He said he was helping a "hysterical" little girl who was covered in blood when she told him "they killed her best friend." When Angel asked the girl her friend's name, she said it was Amerie Jo.
Eva Mireles, 44
Eva Mireles, a teacher for around 17 years, was shot and killed at school, her aunt, Lydia Martinez Delgado, said.
"I'm furious that these shootings continue," Delgado said in a statement. "These children are innocent. Rifles should not be easily available to all. This is my hometown, a small community of less than 20,000. I never imagined this would happen to especially loved ones.”
According to her school bio, Mireles's husband, Ruben Ruiz, was a police officer with the Uvalde school district. She also leaves behind a daughter.
Her daughter, Adalynn, tweeted a heartbreaking message about her mom's death, writing that the teacher "selflessly jumped in front of her students to save their lives."
"My heart will forever be broken," she wrote. "Thank you for being the best mom anyone could ask for. You are so known by many now and I'm so happy that people know your name and that beautiful face of yours and they know what a hero looks like.
"I will miss you forever."
Uziyah Garcia, 8
Uziyah Garcia's grandfather Manny Renfro called him “the sweetest little boy that I’ve ever known” and added, “I’m not just saying that because he was my grandkid.”
He said that during Uziyah’s most recent spring break, the two “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. There were certain plays that I would call that he would remember, and he would do it exactly like we practiced.”
Irma Garcia, 40s
A second teacher in the classroom, Irma Garcia, was also shot dead. Her son, Cristian, told a local NBC affiliate that a law enforcement officer, who was a friend of his, saw Irma in the classroom shielding students with her body.
According to her school bio, Garcia was in her 23rd year of teaching at Robb Elementary and had worked in the same classroom as Eva Mireles for five years. She leaves behind a husband and four children.
Xavier Lopez, 10
Xavier Lopez’s mother was with her son just hours before he was killed in the shooting, ABC News reported. A cousin of the boy's said Xavier’s mother was at an awards ceremony at Robb Elementary roughly one or two hours before the attack unfolded.
Xavier “was just a loving 10-year-old little boy, just enjoying life, not knowing that this tragedy was going to happen today,” a cousin, Lisa Garza, 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 relatives set up a GoFundMe that had raised more than $70,000 as of Wednesday morning.
Eliahana Cruz Torres, 10
Eliahana Cruz Torres’s grandfather told ABC on Wednesday that his granddaughter was killed in the mass shooting. He rushed to the school after his daughter called him about reports that a gunman had opened fire.
“I hope she is alive. They are waiting for an update,” Adolfo Cruz said before later confirming that his granddaughter was among the dead. He had spent more than 10 hours standing outside the school, not knowing whether Eliahana was dead or alive.
Rogelio Torres, 10
Rogelio Torres also died in the attack, according to his father, Federico, who said he was at work before he rushed over to Robb Elementary.
“They sent us to the hospital, to the civic center, to the hospital and here again. Nothing, not even in San Antonio," Torres said. "They don’t tell us anything, only a photo, wait, hope that everything is well.”
Before he found out his child had died, he said he was praying that Rogelio “is found safe. ... Please, if you know anything, let us know.”
Annabelle Guadalupe Rodriguez, 10
Annabelle Guadalupe Rodriguez’s father, Jessie, confirmed that his daughter had been killed in the shooting — as well as her cousin, Jackie Cazares, who was in the same classroom.
He previously told KHOU: "They don't know where she's at. … Her name is not here. They're not letting us in at the hospital right now, so we don't know where to go."
Desperate for answers, Jessie said he gave a photo of Annabelle to a Texas Ranger who promised to call if he learned anything.
Ellie Garcia, 10
Ellie Garcia’s parents confirmed that the young girl had died in the shooting. Her mom, Jennifer Lugo, posted to Facebook earlier Tuesday: “I heard shots 2 blocks away from farrar and evans did [the] guy run to Robb ????”
She later wrote: “My heart broken. I don’t know what to do. I feel so numb. I miss you baby !!!!!”
Ellie’s father, Steven Garcia, wrote on Facebook: “Our Ellie was a doll and was the happiest ever. … I was gonna DJ for her at her party like she wanted me too!!! Mom and Dad love you never forget that and please try and stay by our side Amor!!!! Send prayers to all UVALDE we really need it!!!!”
Tess Marie Mata
Faith Mata wrote on Twitter that her little sister, Tess Marie, had died in the shooting at Robb Elementary. “My precious angel you are loved so deeply,” she wrote on Wednesday. “In my eyes you are not a victim but a survivor. I love you always and past forever baby sister, may your wings soar higher then you could ever dream. Till we meet again Tess Marie, love your big sissy.”
A GoFundMe set up by Mata raised nearly $65,000 as of Thursday morning.
Jose Flores Jr., 10
Jose Flores Jr.’s father told CNN the 10-year-old student was killed on Tuesday.
“He was always full of energy,” Flores said, adding that his son loved baseball and playing video games. “[He was] ready to play till the night.”
Alithia Ramirez, 10
Alithia Ramirez was killed in the attack on Tuesday, according to KSAT. Her father, Ryan, said she had just submitted a drawing for a Google Doodle contest.
Jackie Cazares, 10
Jackie Cazares was killed at school alongside her cousin Annabelle Rodriguez, their families said. The two girls were cousins, classmates and friends, according to loved ones.