Rachel Fieldhouse


Husband of Texas school shooting victim dies “due to grief”

Husband of Texas school shooting victim dies “due to grief”

The husband of one of the teachers killed in the mass shooting in Texas has suffered a heart attack and died just two days later.

Joe Garcia was married to Irma Garcia, one of two faculty members who were fatally shot by 18-year-old gunman Salvador Ramos at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas.

Two days after his wife passed away, Mr Garcia died of a heart attack.

The couple had been together since high school and leave behind four children, as reported by Dallas News.

One family member confirmed his passing on Twitter, saying he “passed away due to grief”.

John Martinez, Ms Garcia’s nephew, also took to Twitter to share his grief, writing: “EXTREMELY heartbreaking and come with deep sorrow to say that my Tia (aunt) Irma’s husband Joe Garcia has passed away due to grief”.

“I am at a loss for words for how we are feeling,” Mr Martinez continued. “PLEASE PRAY FOR OUR FAMILY, God have mercy on us, this isn’t easy.”

A GoFundMe page has been set up by Ms Garcia’s cousin to raise funds for the family and her funeral expenses, describing the 46-year-old teacher as “sweet, kind, [and] loving”.

“She sacrificed herself protecting the kids in her classroom,” the page says. “She was a hero. She was loved by many and will truly be missed.”

In an update, her cousin shared the news of Mr Garcia’s death.

“I truly believe Joe died of a broken heart and losing the love of his life of more than 25 years was too much to bear,” she wrote.

As of publication, $USD 532,553 has been donated by more than 12,000 people, surpassing the $USD 10,000 goal at least 50 times over.

Ms Garcia worked as a fourth grade teacher at Robb Elementary School for 23 years before she was killed and had been recognised for her excellence as an educator. In 2019, she was named as a finalist for the Trinity Prize for Excellence in Teaching, which recognises exceptional teachers in the San Antonio area.

Eva Mireles, a second teacher killed in Tuesday’s attack, shared a classroom with Ms Garcia and worked with both English and Spanish speaking students.

Her cousin and grandmother shared their grief on social media, with her cousin describing her as a “beautiful” person.

“My beautiful cousin! Such a devastating day for us all! My heart is shattered into a million pieces,” Arizmendi Mireles wrote.

On the school’s website, Ms Mireles described herself as a mother of a college graduate and said she loved running and hiking with her “fun and loving” family.

She leaves behind her husband, Robb Ruiz, a school police officer, and their daughter Adalynn Ruiz.

Image: GoFundMe

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