UVALDE – KSAT 12 is continuing to remember and honor the victims of the Uvalde shooting.
Almost two weeks after she was killed in the Robb Elementary School shooting, Amerie Jo Garza’s father is vowing not to let his daughter’s death be in vain.
“Me and her, we had that special connection, you know -- a very special connection. It was just different, you know, than any other relationship that I’ve ever had with anybody,” said Alfred Garza, Amerie’s biological father.
The painting of her smiling makes it feel like little Amerie is still in her father’s living room.
“I still have her clothes in the closet. I have her sandals there. It sucks. It really does suck. As her stepmom, it sucks,” Viviana Granados said.
When thinking about the day Amerie was born, May 10, 2012, Garza and Granados can’t help but share a laugh and a look.
“The day she was born was very, very emotional. Probably just as emotional as the day I said bye,” Garza explained.
From a young age, he wanted to be a dad. Amerie made that dream a reality.
“I mean, that’s the best title I’ve ever had is father,” he said.
Amerie was the first of the 21 victims killed inside Robb Elementary to be buried.
The Girl Scouts of Southwest Texas posthumously awarded her The Bronze Cross, writing on Twitter that she did all she could to save the lives of her classmates and teachers.
Last week, Girl Scouts of the USA posthumously bestowed upon Amerie Jo Garza, 10, of Uvalde, Texas, one of the highest honors in Girl Scouting: the Bronze Cross. The Bronze Cross is awarded for saving or attempting to save life at the risk of the Girl Scout’s own life. 1/3 pic.twitter.com/bFjz0I4awa— Girl Scouts of Southwest Texas (@girlscoutsswtx) May 31, 2022
“For her to be honored, it makes me proud,” Garza said.
Amerie’s cross in downtown Uvalde is covered in flowers and other tributes. Alfred Garza is now a part of a unique family, one filled with the heartbreak of losing a loved one in a mass shooting.
“We need to kind of prevent this from happening, right? We can’t just say, ‘Oh, this happened,’ and just sweep it down the rug. Something has to change,” Garza said.
Garza and his lawyers sent a letter to Daniel Defense, the makers of the AR-15 allegedly used by the Uvalde shooter, to demand information on their marketing to teens and children. According to a news release, “The letter also asks for the gun company’s communications with the Uvalde shooter.”
Garza promises to make the information public and keep fighting for justice for his baby girl.
“I don’t want my daughter’s name tarnished by just how she died. I want -- I prefer to remember her how she lived,” he said.
Click here for the latest on KSAT’s Uvalde coverage
Two weeks after she turned 10, Amerie Jo Garza was killed inside of Robb Elementary. Her father Alfred says she was his twin. All he ever wanted to was to be her dad. The day she was born was filled with as many tears as the day he said goodbye. Hear from him tonight @ 6 & 10 pic.twitter.com/uGTBqJr3Vm— Leigh Waldman (@LeighWaldman) June 6, 2022