“The cutest little boy I’ve ever known”

Nineteen children and two teachers were killed in a shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas.

The children who died were between 7 and 10 years old. Some of them had just received awards for their excellent school work.

One of the victims was a 10 year old boy who loved to dance. Another was a girl who died trying to call the police.

It is the deadliest shooting in an American elementary school since the death of 20 children and six adults at the Sandy Hook school ten years ago.

According to unconfirmed reports, two children from the same family were killed.

“The nicest little boy I’ve ever known”

Some parents were at school hours before the shooting, proudly watching their children hold up their certificates of honor at an awards ceremony. A few hours later they were back.

Amerie Jo Garza was one of the first children to be confirmed dead. She had celebrated her 10th birthday just two weeks ago and had been shot while trying to call emergency services, her grandmother Berlinda Irene Arreola told The Daily Beast.

Amerie was “super outgoing” and “the professor’s pet,” she added.

A family member wrote on Facebook, “Please don’t take a second for granted. Hug your family. Tell them you love them.”

Xavier Javier Lopez10, was remembered as an avid swimmer by his cousin, Lisa Garza, 54.

“He was just a loving 10-year-old boy enjoying life, not knowing that this tragedy was going to happen today,” she said.

“He was very bubbly, loved dancing with his brothers, his mother. It just affected us all.”

Ouziyah Garcia8, was remembered by his grandfather, Manny Renfro, as the “sweetest little boy I’ve ever known”.

Mr Renfro recalled the last time he saw his grandson during school holidays, saying they practiced passing football together.

“Such a quick little boy and he could catch a ball so well,” Mr Renfro said. “There were certain plays that I would call that he would remember and he would do it exactly as we practiced.”

“Worst Nightmare Ever”

Eva Mireles, 44, was the first teacher to be confirmed killed. Trained in bilingual and special education, she taught fourth grade students in the Uvalde School District for 17 years.

In a short biography posted on the school district’s website, she described her love of running and hiking. She also said she has “a supportive, fun and loving family” – her husband, college-educated daughter and “three furry friends”.

According to media reports, Ms. Mireles’ husband, Ruben Ruiz, a policeman from the same school district, had organized an active shooting exercise at Uvalde High School just two months ago.

his aunt, Lydia Martinez Delgado, expressed her grief in a Facebook post, saying she was “furious that these shootings are continuing.” His cousin, Cristina Arizmendi Mirelez, said “it’s unimaginable…the worst nightmare ever”.

A grieving relative paid tribute to Ms Mireles on Twitter.

The second teacher killed in the attack was Irma Garcia, 46, who taught at Robb Elementary for 23 years. She had been named teacher of the year by her school district in 2019. She and Ms. Mireles had worked together for five years.

Married for 24 years, Ms Garcia had four children and loved barbecuing with her husband and listening to music.

Her son said a law enforcement friend who was at the scene saw his mother protecting her students as the shooter opened fire, NBC reports.

Another family member, her nephew John, wrote on social media: “My Tia [aunt] did not survive, she sacrificed herself to protect the children of her class”.

“IRMA GARCIA IS HER NAME and she died a HERO. She was loved by many and will be truly missed.”

The identity of a few other victims was later confirmed:

  • Ellie GarciaThe father of said his daughter, who was 10, was ‘a doll and the happiest ever’

  • Jaliah Nicole SilgueroThe mother of said in a post on Facebook that she was heartbroken. “Fly high baby girl,” Veronica Luevanos wrote

  • Jayce Carmelo Luevanos, who appears to be Jaliah’s cousin based on photographs shared by the family, was named a victim by his aunt. “I still can’t believe we’ll never see you again,” she wrote on Facebook.

  • Fourth year Tess Marie Mata was named by her sister, who described her younger brother as a “precious angel”

  • Nevaeh BravoThe name was confirmed by his cousin, who said the schoolboy was ‘flying high’ and asked that the family be kept in people’s prayers

  • The family members of Alexandria Aniyah “Lexi” Rubio confirmed his death on social media. Her cousin described her as a ‘shining light in everyone’s life’

  • A relative of Makenna Lee Elrod posted that she was among the victims – after Makenna’s father said his daughter was missing

  • A cousin of Maite Rodriguez confirmed his death on Facebook, calling Maite a ‘beautiful angel’

  • third grade student Annabell Guadalupe Rodriguez was also killed, family members told CBS affiliate KHOU.