THE HUSBAND of slain fourth-grade teacher Irma Garcia, who died in the Texas school shooting, has passed away from a heart attack two days after his wife's tragic death.
Irma's husband, Joe Garcia, died on Thursday morning, the pair's nephew announced.
"EXTREMELY heartbreaking and come with deep sorrow to say that my Tia Irma’s husband Joe Garcia has passed away due to grief," John Martinez shared.
"I truly am at a loss for words for how we are all feeling, PLEASE PRAY FOR OUR FAMILY, God have mercy on us, this isn’t easy."
In a GoFundMe shared online by the duos family, cousin Debra Garcia Austin wrote that Joe passed away on Thursday morning “as a result of a medical emergency.”
“I truly believe Joe died of a broken heart and losing the love of his life of more than 30 years was too much to bear,” Austin wrote.
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Joe and Irma were high school sweethearts and were married for 24 years.
Martinez said that the couple leaves behind four children, ages 23, 19, and 15 and the youngest, 13.
"No child should have to go through this, my heart breaks for them," the nephew wrote.
Teachers Irma and Eva Mireles were among 21 people killed during Tuesday's massacre after suspected gunman Salvador Ramos, 18, barricaded himself inside their fourth-grade classroom and opened fire.
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Nineteen students perished in the shooting at Robb Elementary. An additional 17 were injured.
'PUT HER LIFE ON THE LINE'
When the authorities went inside the classroom moments after the shooting, Martinez said they had “found her body there, embracing children in her arms pretty much until her last breath.”
"She had treated her students as if they were her own children, Martinez, 21, told the New York Times.
The 21-year-old said it had been easy for loved ones to possibly “picture her putting her life on the line.”
Irma was “like a second mom” to her nephews and students, Martinez said. “She brings a joy and a light to the room.”
On Wednesday, Texas Governor Greg Abbott revealed that 30 minutes before the school shooting unfolded, Ramos, posted: "I'm going to shoot my grandmother."
In a follow-up post, he wrote: "I shot my grandmother," according to Abbott.
Less than 15 minutes later, Ramos posted: "I'm going to shoot an elementary school," the Texas governor said during Wednesday's press conference.
Meta Communications Director Andy Stone said the messages that Abbott described were private one-to-one text messages that were discovered after the tragedy occurred.
The Republican governor said Ramos gained access to the school via a backdoor to an empty classroom.
The gunman then went through a sliding door that connected the empty room to another classroom, where the carnage unfolded.
Abbott said Ramos was reportedly a high school dropout with no known criminal or mental health history.
Lt. Christopher Olivarez of the Texas Department of Public Safety told NBC’s Today on Wednesday that all the victims were in the same fourth-grade classroom.
Olivarez said the Ramos barricaded himself inside the classroom, “shooting anyone that was in his way."
As the suspect shot at responding police officers, authorities were going around the campus, breaking windows and trying to evacuate children and staff.
They were then able to force entry into the classroom where the shooter was.
So far, 17 of the 19 kids have been identified by loved ones – they are students Amerie Jo Garza, Xavier Lopez, Uziyah Garcia, Makenna Lee Elrod, Ellie Garcia, Eliahana 'Elijah Cruz' Torres, Annabell Guadalupe Rodriguez, Tess Marie Mata, Lexi Rubio, Nevaeh Bravo, Rojelio Torres, Jayce Carmelo Luevanos, Jailah Nicole Silguero, Miranda Mathis, Jose Flores, Maite Yuleana, Jackie Cazares, and Alithia Ramirez.
The children killed were aged between seven and 11.
Amerie's grandmother Berlinda Irene Arreola told the Daily Beast that the gunman reportedly told students that they were going to die.
Amerie was shot dead as she tried to call 911 and her best friend was reportedly left covered in blood.
Arreola said: “She had her phone, and she called 911, and instead of grabbing it and breaking it or taking it from her, he shot her.”
She added Amerie died a hero because she tried to call the emergency services.
Amerie had just received an award for getting on the A-B honor roll.
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The shooting became the worst elementary school massacre since Sandy Hook in 2012.
It surpassed the number of dead in the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting, which left 17 teens dead and 17 others injured on Valentine's Day in 2018.
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