‘She’s a hero to everyone’: Honoring Eva Mireles, slain teacher at Robb Elementary

Eva Mireles will be laid to rest next Friday, June 10 at Hillcrest Cemetery

One of the responding DPS Troopers at the Robb Elementary School shooting shares more about his beloved friend, teacher Eva Mireles.

UVALDE, Texas – Eva Mireles was a dedicated teacher with 17 years of experience. She spent any free moment with her husband, Ruben Ruiz, her daughter, Adalynn Ruiz and her beloved dog, Kane.

Mireles will be laid to rest Friday, June 10, but her friends and family want the world to remember her essence and passion for life.

On Tuesday, May 24, her friend, a DPS Trooper, responded to a call for a shooting at Robb Elementary. Juan Maldonado said he never imagined that call would put her friend’s family, Uvalde and the nation in a state of mourning.

“It’s a tragic situation, but I can tell you that Uvalde will pull together,” Maldonado said.

Maldonado could not detail what he witnessed at the scene. However, he shared about his last moment with Mireles.

“It was an honor to spend the last moment with Eva as she left this Earth to go to a greater place,” Maldonado said.

Mireles’ husband, a Uvalde CISD officer, was also present that morning.

“Eva is a fighter, and she did everything she could to protect her babies, and that’s her students,” Maldonado said. “So, we know she did everything she could, and she protected them until her last breath.” Maldonado and people across the world hail Mireles as a hero.

“She left this Earth happy. She did what she could have done, you know, for any of her students. She protected her students,” Maldonado said. “She’s a hero to everyone, and she’s a hero to the family and to Uvalde.”

Maldonado met Mireles and Ruben Ruiz years ago when their daughters joined the same select soccer team.

“Our daughters (are) the same age, so we used to travel a lot together,” Maldonado said. “Kaela, my daughter, as well as (Adalynn are) both devastated losing their mom, you know,” Maldonado said.

Maldonado said he would often refer to Mireles as Kaela’s second mom.

“Eva Mireles is someone that cannot be replaced,” Maldonado said. “Eva Mireles was an extremely wonderful, loving person all the way around. I mean, she has touched many lives. She was a heck of an educator.”

She loved to sing karaoke and plan family gatherings.

“(When) she walks into that room, we knew we’re going to have fun because Eva would be the fun person,” Maldonado said. “She would light up the whole room just because of her smile, her personality. And she (was always) going to speak her mind.”

Maldonado, his daughter, and the Mireles and Ruiz family, had just spent a Saturday together.

“Three days before the incident, we were up in north Uvalde,” Maldonado said. “I was able to take pictures of her and her daughter together. Ruben and I relaxed, and the girls did their thing. And it was just a wonderful moment that we were able to spend together as one family, and we will always be that one family.”

Mireles was set to participate in the CrossFit Murph Challenge on Memorial Day. One of her biggest passions was working out at her gym, ShotGun Crossfit. Maldonado said Mireles’ daughter and husband participated in the Murph Challenge in her honor. Adalynn wore her mother’s weighted vest. Now, a WOD, or workout of the day, will be organized in her honor. It’s called the Eva Strong Hero WOD.

“ShotGun and other gyms throughout the world are going to be doing this WOD in Eva’s honor,” Maldonado said. “So, this is what means a lot to the family. That’s all she talked about was WOD, you know. She would go work out and to do her CrossFit (after work).”

Eva Strong Hero will take place on June 18. Now, friends and family prepare to say a final goodbye to Mireles.

“The Mireles and Ruiz family would would like to express their condolences and prayers to Eva’s co-educator, which was also taken from this Earth, Irma Garcia, and husband Joe Garcia’s family,” Maldonado said. “And as well to the families of the students who left this Earth last Tuesday. Please continue your prayers for the injured and their families.”


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About the Authors:

Alicia Barrera is a KSAT 12 News reporter and anchor. She is also a co-host of the streaming show KSAT News Now. Alicia is a first-generation Mexican-American, fluent in both Spanish and English with a bachelor's degree from Our Lady of the Lake University. She enjoys reading books, traveling solo across Mexico and spending time with family.