Uvalde buries slain teacher and her husband who died just days after the shooting

Mourners gathered at a Catholic church on Wednesday to pay their respects to Robb Elementary School teacher Irma Garcia, who was killed in the Uvalde, Texas, in the school gun massacre, and her husband, Joe, who died two days later of a heart attack.

When an 18-year-old shooter broke into their school on May 24, 19 students and two instructors — Garcia and her co-teacher, Eva Mireles, 44 — were slain. Visitations, funerals, and burials started on Monday and will go until mid-June.

On Wednesday, twin black hearses carrying the Garcias’ coffins came at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in a parade followed by cops and civilian motorcycle riders. The two closed caskets were carried past a phalanx of officers in uniforms and priests in white robes, full of flowers.

During the funeral, Archbishop Gustavo Garca-Siller expressed gratitude for Irma Garcia’s devotion, some people cried. Many times during the eulogy, he mentioned the names of the dead students.

He said, “Since she was  there with them. She did what she would have done if her own kids were there. Until her dying breath, she took care of them.

Irma, 48, was in her 23rd year as a Robb Elementary School teacher. Garcia told her kids in a letter posted on the school website at the start of the school year that she and Joe had 4 kids: a Marine, a college student, a high school student, and a seventh grader.

The majority of the readings and homily during Wednesday’s service were in English, with Garca-Siller adding a few lines in Spanish.

“We’re all in pain,” he said. “In the midst of so much, please, please people need comfort, people need you. Let us all work to promote a peaceful culture.”

After dropping off flowers at his wife’s memorial, Joe, 50, fell and died. On June 28, the pair would have been married for 25 years. He and Irma “began their connection in high school and it blossomed into a love that was lovely and caring,” according to his obituary.

In a declaration, U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona, who participated in the Garcias’ funeral, said that America ‘must join hands as a country against this purposeless cycle of violence, act quickly to safeguard the kids, and ensure that every child and every educator feels safe in the schools.’

Jose Flores Jr., 10, was also laid to rest at Sacred Heart on Wednesday. On May 24, just hours before the shooting, he was named to the honor list and earned a certificate. His father expressed that his kid “was always full of energy” and enjoyed baseball and computer games.

Hundreds of people gathered on Tuesday afternoon to honor Amerie Jo Garza, a cheerful fourth-grader whose funeral Mass was the first since the tragedy. Maite Rodriguez, a 10-year-old girl, was laid to rest on Tuesday night.

Erika Santiago, her husband, and their two kids donned purple shirts with photographs of the victims at Amerie’s burial. “A wonderful young child who smiled a lot,” she said of Amerie, who was “very humble and charming yet full of life.”

Investigators are still looking into how cops handled the incident, and the US Department of Justice is looking into what happened.

Pete Arredondo, the school district’s police chief, was blamed for an agonising wait in executing the shooter, even as parents outside implored cops to hurry in and scared kids dialed 911 from inside. Arredondo made the “poor judgment” not to storm the classroom, assuming the shooter was confined inside and the students were not in danger, according to the director of state police.

Arredondo stated on Wednesday that he continues to speak with Texas Department of Public Safety investigators on a daily basis, despite assertions from state law enforcement that he has ceased cooperating.

The attacker lawfully acquired two firearms not long before the school shooting, according to authorities: an AR-15-style rifle on May 17 and a second rifle on May 20. He’d just recently turned 18, allowing him to purchase guns under federal law. Law enforcement shot and killed the shooter.

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