UVALDE, Texas – →Find a special project by KSAT 12 about each victim here.
The last week of classes at Robb Elementary School ended in terror when a gunman opened fire, killing 21 people on Tuesday, May 24.
Instead of celebrating their first week of summer break, the families of 19 school children and two teachers at Robb Elementary in Uvalde are being remembered at funeral visitations.
The victims’ lives were ended by an 18-year-old gunman with just two days left in the school year during what is now the deadliest elementary school shooting since Sandy Hook. All of the victims were in the same fourth-grade classroom.
The funerals start on Tuesday, May 31 — one week after the shooting — and will take place daily until Thursday, June 16.
But before they were victims, they were children, brothers, sisters, and elementary school students.
Here’s what we know about them:
Nevaeh Bravo, 10
Her aunt noted that Nevaeh’s first name is heaven spelled backward. In a Facebook posting, Yvonne White described Nevaeh and her friend Jailah Silguero as “Our Angels.”
Nevaeh’s family waited for hours to find out what happened to her, according to her cousin Austin Ayala.
“It just feels like a nightmare that we cannot wake up from,” Ayala told The Washington Post. “Her siblings have to wake up every day knowing that she’s not there with them.”
Jackie Cazares, 9
Jacklyn “Jackie” Cazares, 9, was killed along with her cousin Annabell Rodriguez.
While she hadn’t yet reached her 10th birthday, she was already a tough-minded “firecracker” always looking to help people in need, her father, Javier, told the Associated Press. Jacklyn and Annabell were especially tight with three other classmates at Robb Elementary School.
She also had recently celebrated her first communion.
Javier Cazares told the AP that he raced to the school when he heard about the shooting. He spent 35 to 45 minutes waiting for his daughter, scanning the fleeing children and pleading with the police to do more.
“A lot of us were arguing with the police, ‘You all need to go in there. You all need to do your jobs,’” said Cazares, an Army veteran. “We were ready to go to work and rush in.”
Makenna Lee Elrod, 10
Makenna’s aunt, Allison McCullough, told ABC News that she loved to play softball, do gymnastics, sing and dance. “Her smile would light up a room,” she said.
Makenna’s father asked on Tuesday, May 24 if he could go to the local funeral home to search for his daughter because he feared “she may not be alive,” TV station KTRK reported. Her family later asked for privacy.
Jose Flores Jr., 10
Jose Flores Jr. received this honor roll certificate at Robb Elementary School just hours before the shooting. A photo taken at school Tuesday, May 24 shows him smiling and proudly holding his certificate.
Jose’s father, Jose Flores Sr., told CNN he went to the local hospital hoping to find out his son was just wounded but received the worst news.
He was helpful around the house and loved his younger siblings. “He was just very good with babies,” his mother said. His father told CNN that Jose loved baseball and video games and “was always full of energy.”
Eliahna ‘Ellie’ Garcia, 9
Eliahna “Ellie” Garcia was “very happy and very outgoing,” her aunt, Siria Arizmendi, told the Associated Press.
Arizmendi, an elementary school teacher in the same district, said the Eliahna “loved to dance and play sports. She was big into family, enjoyed being with the family.”
She wanted to be a cheerleader, loved playing basketball and loved making TikToks, her dad, Steven Garcia, told the Today Show. She was about to turn 10 years old and couldn’t wait for her quinceañera.
She was the second oldest of five girls and loved spending time with her sisters.
Irma Garcia, 48
Irma Garcia was a fourth-grade teacher at the elementary school. According to her school biography, she taught with fellow teacher Eva Mireles for five years. Mireles was also killed on Tuesday.
“My husband’s name is Joe Garcia. We have been married for 24 years and have 4 children. I love to BBQ with my husband, listen to music, and take country cruises to Concan,” her webpage states.
This year marked her 23rd year of teaching.
Just two days after the school shooting, Garcia’s husband died suddenly. Her family said it was a heart attack caused by grief.
Uziyah Garcia, 10
Uziyah Garcia was “the sweetest little boy that I’ve ever known,” his grandfather, Manny Renfro, told the AP.
“I’m not just saying that because he was my grandkid.”
Renfro said Uziyah last visited him in San Angelo during 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 said. “There were certain plays that I would call that he would remember and he would do it exactly like we practiced.”
Amerie Jo Garza, 10
Amerie Jo Garza loved to paint, swim, draw and work in clay. “She was very creative,” her grandmother, Dora Mendoza, told the AP. “She was my baby. Whenever she saw flowers she would draw them.”
She wanted to become an art teacher and also loved Chick-Fil-A and the vanilla bean frappuccinos from Starbucks, her obituary states.
For her 10th birthday, Amerie was given her first cellphone and her face “just lit up with the happiest expression,” her father, Angel Garza, recalled.
Garza, a medical assistant, said that Amerie’s friend told him that Amerie had tried to call the police on her phone before she was shot.
He wrote on Facebook: “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.”
Xavier Lopez, 10
His mother, Felicha Martinez, was with him at the school during an awards ceremony just hours before the shooting, not realizing it would be the last time she would see him.
Xavier had been eagerly awaiting a summer of swimming. Martinez told The Washington Post that he was funny and loved to cheer people up. He also loved art, basketball and baseball.
“He was just a loving ... little boy, just enjoying life, not knowing that this tragedy was going to happen,” his cousin, Liza Garza, told the AP. “He was very bubbly, loved to dance with his brothers, his mom. This has just taken a toll on all of us.”
Jayce Carmelo Luevanos, 10
Jayce Carmelo Luevanos was cousins with Jaliah Silguero. “They were nothing but loving baby angels, always had a smile on their face just full of life,” their cousin said in a statement to ABC News. “I can’t believe this happened to our angels.”
Jayce’s grandfather, Carmelo Quiroz’s, said he had begged to be allowed to join his grandmother on Tuesday, May 24 as she accompanied her great-granddaughter’s kindergarten class to the San Antonio Zoo.
But, he said, the family told Jayce it didn’t make sense to skip school so close to the end of the year. Besides, Jayce liked school.
“That’s why my wife is hurting so much, because he wanted to go to San Antonio,” Quiroz told USA Today. “He was so sad he couldn’t go. Maybe if he would have gone, he’d be here.”
Tess Mata, 10
Tess’ mom said her daughter had the biggest smile ever and she wants her to be remembered: “for the awesome little girl that she was.”
According to the Washington Post, she had been saving up in hopes of taking a family vacation to Disney World.
She was also a Houston Astros fan.
Maranda Mathis, 11
In her obituary, her family described Maranda as having a huge, loving heart.
“She was sweet, smart and a shy tom boy who enjoyed being within nature and spending time outdoors. Those who knew Maranda, knew her great imagination and often expressed her love for unicorns and mermaids, especially if they were her favorite color purple.”
The mother of a close friend described Maranda as “very loving and very talkative.” She told the Austin American-Statesman that her daughter and Maranda had been in the same classes and that Maranda would ask to have her hair done like her daughter’s.
Eva Mireles, 44
According to her bio on the school’s employee page, Eva Mireles, 44, was married to a Uvalde CISD police officer and had one daughter. She loved her pets and loved running and hiking.
She had been teaching for 17 years.
Audrey Garcia, whose daughter was a former student of Mireles, said she was the best teacher her child has ever had.
Garcia’s daughter is diagnosed with Down Syndrome, and Mireles was constantly going the extra mile for her daughter and integrated her into her classroom, she said.
My daughter’s beautiful teacher was the teacher who was killed in Uvalde, TX. Eva (Ms Mireles) taught Gabby in elementary school. She was a beautiful person & dedicated teacher. She believed in Gabby & went above & beyond to teach her as you can see below. There are no words. pic.twitter.com/qMlVoVEUrY— Audrey☮️ (@audreymg0928) May 24, 2022
“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 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, ” said Lydia Martinez Delgado, aunt of Eva Mireles.
Alithia Ramirez, 10
Alithia Ramirez loved to draw and wanted to be an artist, her father said, and she had recently submitted a drawing to the Doodle for Google contest. She also loved soccer.
Ryan Ramirez said they were trying to get family together. “That’s what my daughter would want us right now to do, is to be strong.”
Annabell Rodriguez, 10
Annabell Rodriguez was killed along with her cousin Jackie. Earlier that day, Annabell earned her place on the school’s honor roll.
Annabell’s great-aunt, Polly Flores, told the New York Times that she was outgoing and loved being the center of attention.
Maite Rodriguez, 10
It should have been a day of triumph for Maite Rodriguez.
After a rough time with Zoom classes during the pandemic, Maite made the honor roll for straight As and Bs this year and was recognized at an assembly on Tuesday, May 24, her mother, Ana Rodriguez, told the AP.
Maite especially liked physical education, and after she died, her teacher texted Ana Rodriguez to say she was highly competitive at kickball and ran faster than all the boys. Her mother described Maite as “focused, competitive, smart, bright, beautiful, happy.”
She dreamed of attending Texas A&M University and studying marine biology.
Alexandria Aniyah Rubio, 10
Alexandria Aniyah Rubio went by Lexi. She was an honor student at Robb Elementary school. She was killed in the attack on the same day she received a good citizen award from her school, according to her family. The fourth-grader was a softball and basketball player who wanted to be a lawyer.
“My beautiful, smart, Alexandria Aniyah Rubio was recognized today for All-A honor roll,” the girl’s mother, Kimberly Mata-Rubio wrote on Facebook the day her daughter died. “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.”
Lexi’s father, Felix, told ABC News that he is a Uvalde County Sheriff’s deputy and was off-duty when the shooting happened. He raced to the school, made it inside, and noticed the police presence outside his daughter’s classroom.
“It’s a 50/50, which door it is? I see them open the doors, open fire... My heart drops,” he said.
The couple said they did not want to meet with Gov. Greg Abbott, but said they will advocate for stricter gun laws.
Layla Salazar, 10
Vincent Salazar said his 10-year-old daughter, Layla, loved to swim and dance to Tik Tok videos. She was fast — she won six races at the school’s field day, and Salazar proudly posted a photo of Layla showing off two of her ribbons on Facebook.
Each morning as he drove her to school in his pickup, Salazar would play “Sweet Child O’ Mine,” by Guns N’ Roses and they’d sing along.
“She was just a whole lot of fun,” he said.
Jaliah Nicole Silguero, 10
Veronica Luevanos, whose 10-year-old daughter, Jaliah Nicole Silguero, was among the victims, told Univision in a tearful interview that her daughter did not want to go to school Tuesday and that the girl seemed to sense something was going to happen.
Luevanos initially posted on Facebook asking for help finding Jaliah before posting an update about her daughter being one of the victims.
She liked to watch TikTok videos and spend time outdoors.
Eliahana Cruz Torres, 10
The family of Eliahana Cruz Torres said she played softball and was hoping to make the city’s all-star roster. She wore No. 4 on the field.
Television station KIII reported that Eliahana was set to play the last softball game of her season that day. The team members kneeled for a moment of silence to remember Eliahana and the other victims.
“She was an amazing young girl with so much potential,” a family member told The New York Times. “She was a leader and loved by all her family.”
Rojelio Torres, 10
Rojelio Torres’ mother, Evadulia Orta, told ABC News her son was a very smart and loving child.
“I lost a piece of my heart,” she said.
At his memorial at the town square, people left a large stuffed Yoda, a Batman-themed football and several stuffed animals, the Texas Tribune reported.
We will continue to share their stories when their families release the information.
AP and ABC News contributed to the reporting in this story.
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