The husband of one of the two teachers killed in the mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas has passed away this evening from a heart attack, according to a family member.
Joe Garcia, husband to fourth-grade teacher Irma Garcia, who was killed along with a colleague and 19 schoolchildren, died at home earlier today.
The news was confirmed on Twitter by Ms Garcia's nephew.
The couple had been married for 24 years.
"Extremely heartbreaking and come with deep sorrow to say that my Tia Irma’s husband Joe Garcia has passed away due to grief," Irma Garcias' nephew John Martinez wrote on Twitter.
"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."
EXTREMELY heartbreaking and come with deep sorrow to say that my Tia Irma’s husband Joe Garcia has passed away due to grief, 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 pic.twitter.com/GlUSOutRVV— john martinez ❤️🔥 (@fuhknjo) May 26, 2022
Mr Garcia dropped off flowers at his wife’s memorial on Thursday morning in Uvalde, Texas, and returned home, where he “pretty much just fell over” and died, his Mr Martinez told.
Ms Garcia died when gunman, 18-year-old Salvador Ramos, entered the school, barricaded himself in a classroom and began shooting at those inside.
Mr Martinez toldthat the family was struggling to grasp that while the couple’s oldest son trained for combat, it was his mother who was shot to death.
“Stuff like this should not be happening in schools,” he told the newspaper.
The Archdiocese of San Antonio and the Rushing-Estes-Knowles Mortuary confirmed Joe Garcia’s death to The Associated Press. AP was unable to independently reach members of the Garcia family on Thursday.
Also killed were children Alexandria Aniyah Rubio, 10, Alithia Ramirez, 10, Amerie Jo Garza, 10, Annabell Guadalupe Rodriguez, 10, Eliahana Cruz Torres, 10. Eliana 'Ellie' Garcia, 9, Jackie Cazares, 10, Jailah Nicole Silguero, 10, Jayce Luevanos, 10, Jose Flores, 10, Layla Salazar, 10, Makenna Lee Elrod, 10, Maite Rodriguez, Miranda Mathis, 11, Nevaeh Bravo, Rojelio Torres, 10, Tess Marie Mata, Uziyah Garcia, 10, and Xavier Lopez, 10.
The gunman also killed Eva Mireles, 44, another fourth-grade teacher at the school.
The Robb Elementary school attack was the deadliest in the US since the Sandy Hook school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut in 2012.
In the wake of Tuesday's shooting, victims' loved ones took to social media to express anguish over the loss of children who never came home from school.
"We told her we loved her and would pick her up after school," Kimberly Mata-Rubio posted on Facebook in a remembrance of her daughter, Alexandria Aniyah Rubio, a fourth-grade honor student.
"We had no idea this was goodbye."
“I’m grieving heavily,” said Manny Renfro, whose 8-year-old grandson, Uziyah Garcia, was killed.
Renfro toldthat Uziyah and his two sisters had lived with him and his grandmother for more than five years.
“We never had an ounce of trouble out of him” he said.
"He was the type of kid that could get interested in anything in five minutes. Just the perfect kid, as far as I’m concerned.
“We had a tight relationship, me and my grandson, and I don’t have him anymore.
"I lost my grandson at the hands of a very evil person.”
“Thank you everyone for the prayers and help trying to find my baby,” her father, Amerie Jo Garza's father, Angel," wrote on Facebook.
“She’s been found. My little love is now flying high with the angels above. Please don’t take a second for granted," said.
"Hug your family. Tell them you love them. I love you Amerie Jo. Watch over your baby brother for me.”