February 22, 2024

Working day of triumph turned to day of tragedy for honor pupil

UVALDE, Texas (AP) — Tuesday must have been a day of triumph for 10-12 months-outdated Maite Rodriguez. Rather, it was the day she died.

Maite was amid 19 grade college pupils who, along with two instructors, ended up shot to loss of life at Robb Elementary University in the southwestern Texas town of Uvalde. The 18-calendar year-outdated gunman also died.

Maite favored and excelled at bodily instruction — soon after her dying, her instructor texted her mother to say she was quite competitive at kickball and ran more rapidly than all the boys.

She had usually been a straight-A scholar until the COVID-19 pandemic pressured the university to cancel in-man or woman courses. Zoom did not perform effectively for Maite — she acquired all Fs. But with university back again in session, Maite rebounded — all As and Bs. She was between the honor roll college students regarded at an assembly Tuesday early morning.

“She worked challenging, I only inspired her,” her mother, Ana Rodríguez, stated in an interview Thursday at her dining space table, which shown a bouquet of red roses, the honor roll certificate and photos of Maite.

Hrs afterwards, Maite was gone. Her mom explained her as “focused, competitive, intelligent, shiny, wonderful, delighted.”

As a kindergartner, Maite explained she required to be a maritime biologist and held firmly to that intention. She investigated a application at Texas A&M College in Corpus Christi and advised her mom she was set on studying there.

“She was just so driven. She was definitely special. She was going to be a thing, she was going to be something extremely, incredibly special,” Rodríguez stated.

Jacklyn Cazares, who would have turned 10 on June 10, was a difficult-minded “firecracker” who preferred to help people today in need to have, her father claimed. Jacklyn and her 2nd cousin, Annabell Rodriguez, ended up especially restricted with 3 other classmates at Robb Elementary Faculty.

“They are all gone now,” Javier Cazares claimed. “All her little ideal buddies ended up killed too.”

In spite of her younger age, Jacklyn was tricky-minded and compassionate.

“She had a voice,” her father claimed. “She did not like bullies, she did not like children currently being picked on. All in all, full of enjoy. She experienced a major heart.”

“She was a character, a very little firecracker.”

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Cazares drove his daughter to faculty Tuesday for the awards ceremony. About 90 minutes afterwards, the family got a call about an lively shooter.

“I drove like a bat out of hell,” he reported. “My toddler was in trouble.”

“There was extra than 100 individuals out there waiting. It was chaotic,” he mentioned of the scene at the college. He grew impatient with the law enforcement response and even lifted the idea of rushing inside with other bystanders.

Cazares explained his niece followed an ambulance to the hospital and observed Jacklyn currently being taken inside. The whole family members quickly arrived and pressed medical center officials for info for nearly three hours. They begged, cried and confirmed photographs of Jacklyn. Finally, a pastor, law enforcement officer and a health practitioner came to them.

“My spouse requested the issue, ‘Is she alive or is she handed?’” Cazares said. “They had been like, ‘No, she’s long gone.’”

Ryan Ramirez also rushed to Robb Elementary when he heard about the shooting, hoping to find his daughter, Alithia, and take her home, KTRK-Television set described. But Alithia, too, was among the the victims.

Ramirez’s Facebook web page involves a picture, now revealed close to the environment, of the little lady sporting the multi-colored T-shirt that introduced she was out of “single digits” soon after turning 10 many years old. The exact photo was posted all over again Wednesday with no text, but with Alithia donning angel wings.

The grief only grew Thursday with affirmation that the brokenhearted husband of one of the slain academics, 48-12 months-outdated Irma Garcia, had died.

Joe Garcia, 50, had dropped off flowers at his wife’s memorial on Thursday morning, The New York Times noted. He “pretty substantially just fell over” soon after returning property and died of a heart assault, his nephew John Martinez told the newspaper.

The Archdiocese of San Antonio and the Rushing-Estes-Knowles Mortuary verified Joe Garcia’s dying to The Related Press. AP was not able to independently access customers of the Garcia family members on Thursday.

Married for 24 yrs, the pair shared four small children. In a article on the school’s web page at the start off of the school yr introducing herself to her course, Irma Garcia wrote of her love of barbecue, listening to audio and taking “country cruises” to the nearby town of Concan.

The university year, scheduled to stop Thursday, was Irma’s 23rd calendar year of educating — all of it at Robb Elementary College. She had been formerly named the school’s instructor of the yr and was a 2019 recipient of the Trinity Prize for Excellence in Education from Trinity College.

For five several years, Irma experienced co-taught with Eva Mireles, who also was killed.

Mireles also posted on the internet site as the faculty year started, noting she experienced been teaching 17 years. She cited her “supportive, enjoyment, and loving relatives.”

“Welcome to the 4th grade! We have a superb yr forward of us!” she wrote.

Two of the victims experienced hoped to skip school that working day.

Carmelo Quiroz’s grandson, Jayce Luevanos, 10, experienced begged to go together with his grandmother on Tuesday as she accompanied her fantastic-granddaughter’s kindergarten class to the San Antonio Zoo. But, he reported, the spouse and children explained to Jayce it did not make perception to skip school so close to the end of the year. Apart from, Jayce appreciated faculty.

“That’s why my spouse is hurting so much, simply because he required to go to San Antonio,” Quiroz informed Usa Now. “He was so unfortunate he could not go. It’s possible if he would have gone, he’d be listed here.”

Jayce’s cousin, 10-12 months-old Jailah Nicole Silguero, also desired to miss university that working day. Jailah’s mother, Veronica Luevanos, tearfully advised Univision that Jailah seemed to feeling one thing lousy was likely to occur.

Jailah’s pal, Nevaeh Alyssa Bravo, also was killed and her aunt famous Neveah’s to start with identify is heaven spelled backward. In a Fb submitting, Yvonne White explained Nevaeh and Jailah as “Our Angels.”

Two gentlemen who responded to the taking pictures uncovered their have youngsters between the victims.

Uvalde County Sheriff’s Deputy Felix Rubio and his wife experienced been at the faculty Tuesday early morning to rejoice with their daughter, 10-year-previous Alexandria “Lexi” Rubio, given that the fourth-grader had created honor roll with all A’s and been given a good citizen award.

In a Fb put up, Kimberly Rubio wrote: “We advised her we cherished her and would pick her up soon after faculty. We had no strategy this was goodbye.”

Healthcare assistant Angel Garza also hurried to the college and promptly found a woman included in blood amongst the terrified kids streaming out of the building.

“I’m not hurt. He shot my finest buddy,” the lady told Garza when he offered assist. “She’s not respiratory. She was just making an attempt to get in touch with the cops.”

Her friend was Amerie Jo Garza — Angel Garza’s stepdaughter.

Amerie was a content baby who created the honor roll and loved to paint, draw and get the job done in clay. “She was pretty inventive,” explained her grandmother Dora Mendoza. “She was my newborn. Whenever she noticed flowers she would attract them.”

GoFundMe internet pages had been set up for lots of of the victims, which includes one on behalf of all victims that has raised a lot more than $3.7 million.


This tale has been corrected to present Lexi’s final identify is Rubio, not Aniyah. It also corrects the spelling of another victim’s identify. She was Annabell Rodriguez, not Annabelle.


Groves reported from Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Associated Push writer Stefanie Dazio contributed to this report from Los Angeles.


Uncover a lot more of the AP’s coverage of the Uvalde college taking pictures at https://apnews.com/hub/college-shootings