A fourth-grade student attempted to call 911 during the Texas mass shooting that claimed the lives of 19 children and two adults this week.
Ten-year-old Amerie Jo Garza, who attended Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, tried to call 911 on her cellphone before the 18-year-old gunman killed her.
Amerie’s grandmother, 49-year-old Berlinda Arreola, told The Daily Beast that the 10-year-old had her cellphone when the gunman entered the classroom. Arreola, who also spoke to People, called her granddaughter a “hero.”
“My [granddaughter] was shot and killed for trying to call 911, she died a hero trying to get help for her and her fellow classmates,” Arreola told The Daily Beast.
Arreola also said the gunman had told the students, “You’re going to die.”
“And [Amerie] had her phone and she called 911,” the grandmother explained. “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.”
The massacre at Robb Elementary School was the second-deadliest school shooting in U.S. history.
U.S. Marshals told Amerie’s father, Angel Garza, about his daughter’s death, according to KABC-TV.
“Thank you everyone for the prayers and help trying to find my baby,” Garza told KABC-TV. “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.”
Amerie had just celebrated her birthday on May 10, Garza told the news station.
A Facebook page identified as Garza’s page recently posted a link to a GoFundMe campaign to help with his daughter’s funeral costs.
“For anyone asking, I’m sorry we have been trying to stay away from all media in a time like this,” Garza said. “I love you guys so much for getting my babies name out there. She was my hero.”
According to People, Amerie had a loving bond with her 3-year-old brother Zayne and always kissed him before leaving for school every morning.