Ten-year-old students and two fourth-grade teachers were among the first victims to be named in Tuesday’s deadly mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas.
The massacre at the school left at least 19 children and two adults dead, with many others injured. Responding officers fatally shot the gunman at the school.
Lt. Christopher Olivarez, a spokesperson for the Texas Department of Public Safety, told CNN on Wednesday that all 21 victims had been killed inside one classroom, adding they have all been identified.
“Just goes to show you the complete evil from this shooter,” Olivarez said.
Robb Elementary, which is part of the Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District, has students in the second through fourth grades.
“What happened in Uvalde is a horrific tragedy that cannot be tolerated in the state of Texas,” Republican Gov. Greg Abbott said at a news briefing Tuesday.
Below are the names of the victims and their stories. This post will be updated as more information becomes available.
Maite Yuleana Rodriguez, 10
Maite Rodriguez dreamt of one day attending Texas A&M University, with hopes of becoming a marine biologist.
“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,” a family member, Aiko Coronado, wrote on Facebook. “She knew what she wanted in life.”
Another family member shared a photo of Maite with an honor roll certificate.
“Her mom wanted the world to know her story and the dreams and goals she had in life,” Aiko Coronado wrote on Wednesday.
Miranda Mathis, 11
Miranda Mathis had just turned 11, and attended the elementary school with her brother.
“My sweet baby cousin we loved u dearly I’m so sorry this happen to u baby please keep my family in your prayers,” a family member, Deanna Miller, wrote on Facebook.
A parent whose daughter was close friends with Mathis said she was “very loving and very talkative” and often asked her to do her hair.
Amerie Jo Garza, 10
Fourth-grader Amerie Jo Garza had just won an honor roll award on Tuesday, shortly before her death. The morning was filled with celebration.
Amerie Jo’s grandmother Berlina Irene Arreola told The Daily Beast that her granddaughter was a model student who called 911 during the shooting.
“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 outlet.
“So the gunman went in and he told the children, ‘You’re going to die.’ And she had her phone and she called 911. And instead of grabbing it and breaking it or taking it from her, he shot her,” Arreola added. “She was sitting right next to her best friend. Her best friend was covered in her blood.”
Arreola described Amerie Jo as someone who was “looking forward to making a life for herself,” The Daily Beast reported. She turned 10 years old just two weeks before the shooting, her father, Angel Garza, told ABC News.
He wrote a message about his daughter on Facebook, per KSAT-TV:
Thank you everyone for the prayers and help trying to find my baby. 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.
In a phone interview with The New York Times, Garza said his daughter’s death came after the family mourned the loss of several relatives due to the pandemic.
“We were finally getting a break, nobody was passing away,” Garza told the outlet. “Then this happened.”
Eva Mireles, 44
Fourth-grade teacher Eva Mireles had been a teacher for 17 years and was 44, according to People.
In a welcome message to students on the school website, Mireles wrote that she had a “supportive, fun and loving family.” She also mentioned that her family included a school district officer, whom she identified as “Ruiz,” and a “college graduate daughter,” Adalynn.
Adalynn shared a tribute to her mother on Twitter, writing that she would miss their daily phone calls at 4:30 pm, when Mireles left school for the day.
Mom, I have no words to describe how I feel right now, tomorrow, and for the rest of my life. I never thought that I would be here writing this type of post for you. Mom, you are a hero. I keep telling myself that this isn’t real. I just want to hear your voice. I want to hear you talking to our dogs with that silly voice you make so high that wakes everyone up in the morning.
Mireles’ aunt, Lydia Martinez Delgado, told the Times that Mireles was a hiker who was proud to teach at a school with mostly Latino students.
In a statement sent to KSAT-TV in San Antonio, Delgado said she was furious that these mass shootings continued to target innocent children:
My niece, Eva Mireles, approximately 17 yr teacher for UCISD along with another teacher and 18 children lost her lives to a senseless tragic shooting.
I’m furious that these shooting continue, these children are innocent, rifles should not be easily available to all.
This is a my hometown a small community of less then [sic] 20,000. I never imagined this would happen to especially to loved ones. not all the facts have been released yet all we can do is pray hard for our country, state, schools and especially the families of all.
Xavier Lopez, 10
Xavier Lopez had attended an awards ceremony for students at Robb Elementary that morning, along with his mother, KSAT-TV reported.
His cousin Lisa Garza spoke to The Associated Press about the family’s grief.
“He was just a loving 10-year-old little boy, just enjoying life, not knowing that this tragedy was going to happen today,” Garza said. “He was very bubbly, loved to dance with his brothers, his mom. This has just taken a toll on all of us.”
“We should have more restrictions, especially if these kids are not in their right state of mind and all they want to do is just hurt people, especially innocent children going to the schools,” Garza continued.
Fourth-grade teacher Irma Garcia was seen trying to protect the children, her son Cristian Garcia told NBC News citing a friend in law enforcement.
She taught alongside Mireles.
Garcia, a mother of four children, had been teaching at the school for 23 years, according to her school profile. In a welcome message to her students, she wrote:
I love to BBQ with my husband, listen to music, and take country cruises to Concan.
I have my eldest Cristian son completing Marine boot camp and another son Jose attending Texas State University. My eldest daughter Lyliana will be a sophomore in high school and my youngest Alysandra will be a 7th grader this year.
A GoFundMe page set up to cover the cost of her funeral and other expenses for the family described her as “sweet, kind, loving” and “fun with the greatest personality.”
“She was a hero. She was loved by many and will truly be missed,” it read.
Uziyah Garcia’s grandfather Manny Renfro told The Associated Press his grandson was “the sweetest little boy that I’ve ever known.”
“I’m not just saying that because he was my grandkid,” he added.
Renfro also said they spent spring break together in San Angelo, where they played football.
“Such a fast little boy and he could catch a ball so good,” Renfro told the AP.
Jose Flores, 10
Jose Flores, a fourth-grader who “loved going to school,” was among those killed, his uncle Christopher Salazar told The Washington Post.
Jose had also made the honor roll, hours before the shooter entered the school.
“He was a very happy little boy,” Salazar said. “He loved both his parents … and loved to laugh and have fun.”
“He was very smart,” Salazar continued. “He wasn’t a kid who would look for trouble.”
Annabell Guadalupe Rodriguez, 10
Annabell Guadalupe Rodriguez was an honor roll student who went to school with her cousin Jackie Cazares, a relative told The New York Times. She had a twin sister who was homeschooled, the relative said.
Following news of the shooting at his daughter’s elementary school, Jessie Rodriguez went looking for her.
“I’ve got to find her,” Rodriguez said Tuesday, per CBS News. “After the shooting, they don’t know where she’s at.”
He later learned that she had been killed alongside her cousin, KHOU 11 reported.
Above is the photograph Annabell’s father provided the Texas Rangers to help identify her body, according to Fox News reporter Bill Melugin.
Jackie Cazares was close with her cousin Annabelle, a relative told The New York Times.
“She was outgoing; she always had to be the center of attention,” said Polly Flores, who was Jackie’s great-aunt and Annabelle’s aunt.
“She was my little diva,” she added.
Jackie had her first communion just two weeks ago, the newspaper said.
Eliahana Cruz Torres, 10
Eliahana Cruz Torres was a softball player looking forward to the last game of the season, which was supposed to take place Tuesday, a relative told a local news station.
“I talked to her last night and she was kind of nervous, saying that it was her last game and she didn’t want softball to end,” her aunt told KENS 5. “And she was excited because there were gonna, I guess, announce the ones that made it to All Stars. And she was also saying, like, ‘What if I make it? I’m gonna be so nervous.’ And I was like, ‘Girl, you got this. You’re gonna be good at it. You got this.’ So she was excited.”
The 10-year-old’s aunt said the family was in “disbelief” over the shooting. On Tuesday, law enforcement officers asked family members to provide photos or descriptions of what their children were wearing, which they took to help them identify bodies.
Eliahna Garcia, 10
Eliahna Garcia was an outgoing kid who liked singing, dancing and playing basketball, according to the AP.
“She was big into family, enjoyed being with the family,” said her aunt Siria Arizmendi, who became angry and emotional when talking about gun policy.
“It’s just difficult to understand or to put into words,” Arizmendi said. “I just don’t know how people can sell that type of a gun to a kid, 18 years old. What is he going to use it for but for that purpose?”
Rojelio Torres, 10
Rojelio Torres’ father waited hours for any update about his son.
“They sent us to the hospital, to the civic center, to the hospital and here again, nothing, not even in San Antonio,” Federico Torres told local outlet KHOU 11. “They don’t tell us anything, only a photo, wait, hope that everything is well.”
“We are devastated and heartbroken. Rojer was a very intelligent, hard-working and helpful person. He will be missed and never forgotten,” his aunt Precious Perez told KSAT-TV.
Tess Marie Mata
Tess Marie Mata’s older sister wrote messages on social media remembering her.
“My precious angel you are loved so deeply,” wrote Faith Mata on Twitter.
She also wrote a lengthy note on Facebook, which was accompanied by photos of Tess posing with loved ones, wearing a “Birthday Girl” badge and playing with a cat. It read, in part:
My sweet baby sister, I would’ve never thought I would be typing something like this. I honestly have no words just sadness, confusion, and anger. I’m sad because we will never get to tag team on mom and dad again and tell each other how much we mean to each other, I’m confused because how can something like this happen to my sweet, caring, and beautiful sister, and I’m angry because a coward took you from us. ... We have one sassy guardian angel that I know is going to protect our family. Till we meet again Tess Marie, love your Big Sister
A GoFundMe page set up to help cover funeral costs and other expenses met its goal within just a few hours.
Jailah Nicole Silguero, 11
Jailah didn’t want to go to school on the day of the shooting, her mother, Veronica Luevanos, told The Associated Press. The 11-year-old seemed to sense something bad would happen.
“My baby you didn’t deserve this, neither did your classmates [and] cousin Jayce nor your [two] teachers. I’m so heartbroken, baby,” her mother wrote on Facebook. “We miss you so much… my beautiful angel fly high, baby, can’t wait to see [you] again. We Love You.”
Jailah’s cousin Jayce also died in the shooting at their elementary school.
A family friend who created a GoFundMe fundraiser for the family said Jailah was “a delighted, energetic, lovely little girl that loved to make Tik-Tok videos for friends.”
Jayce Carmelo Luevanos, 10
Jayce went to school with his cousin Jailah. They both died in the shooting.
Their cousin told ABC News that they “were nothing but loving baby angels, always had a smile on their face, just full of life.”
Alexandria “Lexi” Aniyah Rubio, 10
Earlier on the day of the shooting, Lexi had received a good citizen award and made the honor roll at school, her mother, Kimberly Mata-Rubio, wrote on Facebook.
“We told her we loved her and would pick her up after school,” her mom wrote of her “beautiful, smart” daughter. “We had no idea this was goodbye.”
Lexi’s parents told CNN that they were proud of Lexi, who played softball and was “kind, sweet, and appreciated life.” “Please let the world know we miss our baby,” they said.
Her father Felix, who is a deputy with the Uvalde County Sheriff’s office, told the news outlet he wants gun violence to be addressed, saying: “All I can hope is that she’s just not a number… This is enough. No one else needs to go through this. We never needed to go through this, but we are.”
Nevaeh Bravo, 10
Nevaeh’s cousin Austin Ayala told The Washington Post that her family is “devastated” and just trying to understand why someone would kill a child who “put a smile on everyone’s faces.”
“It just feels like a nightmare that we cannot wake up from,” her cousin said. “Her siblings have to wake up every day knowing that she’s not there with them.”
Another cousin, Emily Grace Ayala, wrote on Facebook that Nevaeh was “flying with the angels above.”
“We love you Nevaeh very much princess,” her cousin wrote. “Please everyone continue to keep her parents and our family in your prayers.”
Alithia Ramirez, 10
Alithia wanted to be an artist and loved drawing, her father, Ryan Ramirez, told local ABC news affiliate KSAT. He said his daughter would want the family to “be strong.”
Makenna Lee Elrod, 10
Makenna “made friends everywhere she went,” her aunt Allison McCullough told ABC News.
She loved animals, gymnastics, softball, singing and dancing. And she loved school. Makenna’s mother is also a teacher for the district, her aunt said.
“Her smile would light up a room,” her aunt wrote in a GoFundMe for the family.
On Facebook, Makenna’s older sister urged people to “hug your loved ones tonight and tell them you love them, you never know when you won’t have the chance to anymore.”
Layla Salazar, 10
Layla loved swimming and dancing to Tik Tok videos, her dad, Vincent Salazar, told The Associated Press. Every morning as they drove to school in his pickup truck, they sang along to “Sweet Child O’Mine” by Guns N’ Roses.
“Yesterday we lost our heart, our whole world,” her dad wrote on Facebook. “We love you Baby girl. Daddy is sorry I wasn’t there to protect you when you needed me the most.”
In a subsequent post, Vincent thanked the community for their support for the family, saying: “Stay safe and hug your loved ones because you just never know.”