UVALDE, Texas (AP) — Desperation turned to heart-wrenching sorrow for families of the grade-schoolers killed after an 18-year-old gunman barricaded himself in their Texas classroom and began shooting, killing at least 19 fourth-graders and their two teachers.
Relatives who gathered at a civic center following the shooting on Tuesday at Robb Elementary School in the southwestern Texas town of Uvalde pleaded for information and turned to social media for help.
By Wednesday morning, many were left with the grim reality of unimaginable horror.
One man cried into his phone, “she is gone,” as he walked away from the civic center. A woman standing alone behind the building sobbed and yelled into her phone.
Texas Department of Public Safety Lt. Christopher Olivarez told CNN that all those who died Tuesday were in the same fourth-grade classroom.
Among those killed was fourth-grade teacher Eva Mireles.
Relative Amber Ybarra, of San Antonio, was preparing to give blood for the wounded and remembered Mireles as a loving mother and wife who also was "adventurous."
One of the children who died was 8-year-old Uziyah Garcia. His grandfather Manny Renfro got word Tuesday that Garcia was one of the victims in the shooting.
Renfro remembered Garcia as the sweetest little boy he ever knew.
Another victim was identified as Xavier Javier Lopez. His cousin, Lisa Garza, 54, of Arlington, Texas, saying he was "a loving 10-year-old little boy."
The funeral home that is located directly across from the school, Hillcrest Memorial Funeral Home, posted on its Facebook page that it would assist victims' families at no cost for funeral arrangements.