Amerie's father, Angel Garza, was assisting a girl covered in blood who told him that her best friend "Amerie" was fatally shot.
Trigger Warning: This story contains details of gun violence that the readers may find disturbing.
A fourth-grader was killed in the Robb Elementary School shooting while dialing 911.
Amerie Jo Garza, 10, spent the morning celebrating her honor roll appointment, according to her family. Salvador Ramos, a suspected shooter, attacked their school less than two hours later. Berlinda Irene Arreola, the child's grandmother told The Daily Beast that Ramos told Amerie and the other kids that "You're going to die." Garza started dialing 911, but Ramos shot her before she could finish.
"She was the sweetest girl" - CNN's @andersoncooper speaks with the father of 10-year-old Amerie Jo Garza, one of the victims in the Robb Elementary School shooting. Watch here: https://t.co/DxwVRnOmrQ— CNN (@CNN) May 26, 2022
Arreola said, "Instead of grabbing it and breaking it or taking it from her, he shot her. She was sitting right next to her best friend. Her best friend was covered in her blood." She added, "She died a hero trying to get help for her and her fellow classmates."
At least 19 students and two adults were murdered in this mass shooting, which is considered the deadliest since the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy in 2012. According to the Texas Department of Public Safety, the victims, all of whom were under the age of 11, were slaughtered inside a single classroom, reports Daily Mail. Ramos, who had purchased two AR-style guns only days before the incident and flaunted them on social media, rained bullets on the room indiscriminately before being fatally shot by police.
Angel Garza confirms death:— Mireya Villarreal (@ABCMireya) May 25, 2022
“Thank you everyone for the prayers & 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” 🙏🏽 pic.twitter.com/O9Vu0ThPyF
After the incident, Amerie's father, Angel Garza, was assisting a girl who was covered in blood. When the girl told him that her best friend had been shot, Angel asked for her name and she gave him the name of his daughter. He told CNN, "She was trying to call the cops. And I asked the little girl the name ... and she said Amerie." He paid tribute to his daughter on Facebook by writing, "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."
Authorities were aware of the gunman's frequent battles with his drug-addicted mother. He was apparently battling with his grandmother, his legal guardian, about his failure to graduate from Uvalde High School. He shot her first before attacking the school. She was sent to a nearby hospital in critical condition, reports New York Post.
Amerie Jo Garza, 10— Jonathan Lemire (@JonLemire) May 25, 2022
She was killed in her Texas school hours after this photo was taken pic.twitter.com/PLHXzmUGT7
In addition to the verified victims of Ramos' murder spree, more than a dozen children were allegedly injured in the attack, including a ten-year-old girl who was rushed to a hospital in the adjacent city of San Antonio in critical condition. Another hospital in Uvalde reported that 13 more children were admitted on Tuesday, without specifying their conditions. The death toll is certain to rise, police said late Tuesday.
A GoFundMe campaign was created by the best friend of Amerie's mother to support the family in times of crisis. She wrote, "Amerie was born May 10th and had just turned 10 years old. Amerie was such a beautiful soul. She touched everyone’s hearts around her and she lit up every room she walked into." The campaign has raised almost $50,000 until now.
The Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District opened a bank account on Wednesday to collect funds for the victims of the Robb Elementary School massacre. The Robb Elementary Memorial Fund has been created at First State Bank of Uvalde to assist families affected by the crisis.
Cover Image Source: Angel Garza/Facebook