Two Teachers Died Trying to Protect Their Students As Gunman Fired Bullets Killing 19 Children: "She Sacrificed Herself"

Two Teachers Died Trying to Protect Their Students As Gunman Fired Bullets Killing 19 Children: "She Sacrificed Herself"

Eva Mireles and Irma Garcia were teachers at Robb Elementary School and died trying to save children, said their relatives.

Cover image source: Left: Irma Garcia/Twitter | @fuhknjo Right: Eva Mireles/UCISD

Trigger warning: This story contains themes of gun violence that some readers may find distressing

Two teachers died trying to protect their students in the mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas.

A total of 19 children and 2 teachers were killed in the shooting, reported NBC News. The suspected gunman is believed to be an 18-year-old boy, who bought reportedly two rifles including an AR-15 for his birthday before opening fire at the Texas elementary school Tuesday, killing at least 19 students. It was the last day of school ahead of the summer vacation. Two teachers were also killed by the shooter in what is the 27th school mass shooting this year. Eva Mireles and Irma Garcia were the two teachers killed at the school. They died “trying to protect her students” from the gunman, relatives told The New York Times. Mireles has been with the school district for 17 years, said Lydia Martinez Delgado, her aunt. This is the 212th mass shooting of the year in America, according to Gun Violence Archive.




Eva Mireles, who was in her 40s, was married and had a child, said Martinez Delgado. In her profile for UCSID, she wrote, "I have a supportive, fun, and loving family, which includes a UCISD officer (Ruiz), a college graduate daughter (Adalynn), and 3 furry friends — Callie, Kane, and Koda." Mireles added that she loved running and hiking. Robb Elementary School predominantly had Hispanic students and teaching them was something Mireles took immense pride in. Martinez Delgado was heartbroken to lose her niece and was "furious" at learning about the shooting. “These children are innocent. Rifles should not be easily available to all. This is my hometown — a small community of less than 20,000. I never imagined this would happen... especially to loved ones,” said Martinez Delgado.


 Getty Images | Photo by Jordan Vonderhaar




Many paid tribute to the brave teacher including Audrey Garcia, whose daughter was a former student of Eva Mireles. Garcia described Mireles as the best teacher her child has ever had. Garcia’s daughter is diagnosed with Down Syndrome, and she noted that Mireles always went above and beyond her call of duty to care for her daughter and integrated her into her classroom. Elsa Avila, a math and science fourth-grade teacher was shot in the stomach and the abdomen but is expected to survive. Avila has been teaching with the Uvalde school district for 16 years, her Hugo Avila told NewsNation.





Irma Garcia was also killed while trying to protect her kids, said a relative on Twitter. "My tia did not make it, she sacrificed herself protecting the kids in her classroom. I beg of you to keep my family including all of her family in y’all’s prayers. IRMA GARCIA IS HER NAME and she died a HERO. She was loved by many and will truly be missed," they wrote. She was married and a Mom to 4 children, as per a GoFundMe campaign started to help cover her funeral expenses. "Sweet, kind, loving. Fun with the greatest personality," the description read. "A wonderful 4th-grade teacher at Robb Elementary who was a victim in a Texas school shooting in Uvalde, Texas. She sacrificed herself to protect the kids in her classroom. She was a hero."   







Last day of school ahead of summer break
Tuesday at Rob Elementary was meant to be the last day of school with summer vacation looming. It was also “Footloose and Fancy” Day, which saw kids come to school dressed in their finest dappers to celebrate the closing school year. The students were in a buoyant mood on the last day of school until the 18-year-old walked into Robb Elementary with an assault weapon. The gunman was wearing body armor and carrying a rifle. Police officers were unable to stop the gunman. Law enforcement eventually fatally shot him, said Chris Olivarez of the Texas Department of Public Safety. He was believed to be carrying an AR-15 and a handgun.



"It's like a horror movie"
After shots rang out at the school, parents and families rushed to search for their children. They were forced to wait as information filtered in. They were all left praying that their children were one of the victims. Being a close community, they knew each other. Rosa Arizmendia, whose daughter survived the shooting, said, “It’s like a horror movie. If it’s not our kid, it’s someone we know. It’s our neighbors.”



Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr was one of the many people who called out the apathy of those refusing to pass sensible gun laws to restrict shootings, reported CNN. "When are we going to do something?" asked Kerr in a fiery and emotional press conference. He called out the "50 senators who refuse to vote on HR-8," a House bill that aims to strengthen firearm background checks. "They won't vote on it because they want to hold onto their own power. Fifty senators in Washington are going to hold us hostage. It's pathetic, I've had enough," said Kerr. Golden State's Steph Curry backed his coach and said, "I can't even imagine the pain for Coach to say what he said, and every word he said was powerful, was meaningful."

Getty Images | Photo by Brandon Bell



Cover image source: Left: Irma Garcia/Twitter | @fuhknjo | Right: Eva Mireles/UCISD

The school shooting at Uvalde, Texas, is a developing story, and we’ll update as we learn more. Information is swiftly changing and Women Working is committed to providing the most recent and verified updates in our articles and reportage. However, considering the frequency in developments, some of the information/data in this article may have changed since the time of publication.

If you're struggling to cope with grief, and need help, please reach out to Crisis response at 1-800-203-CARE (2273)