Of those present at a Texas elementary school Tuesday morning when a murderer entered the building and took the lives of at least 19 children and two teachers, it is being reported that one of the victims spent her last moments trying to save the lives of her classmates while the suspect declared, “You’re going to die.”
Salvador Ramos was identified as the 18-year-old shooter at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas where witnesses described him wearing body armor while carrying a handgun and a rifle. As the suspect opened fire on the defenseless students and faculty, 10-year-old Amerie Jo Garza did what she could to try and help her peers.
The fourth-grader was said to have taken out her cellphone in an effort to call the police before the suspect saw what she was doing. Berlinda Irene Arreola, Garza’s grandmother, explained in a message to The Daily Beast, “My Grand Daughter was shot and killed for trying to call 911, she died a Hero trying to get help for her and her fellow classmates.”
Of her “super-outgoing” and “generous” granddaughter, Arreola went into greater detail in an interview with the Beast and said, “So the gunman went in and he told the children, ‘You’re going to die.’ And she had her phone and she called 911. And instead of grabbing it and breaking it or taking it from her, he shot her.”
“She was sitting right next to her best friend,” the heartbroken grandmother said. “Her best friend was covered in her blood.”
It wasn’t until a Border Patrol agent rushed into the building and exchanged fire with the suspect that the murderer was fatally wounded and his rampage was put to an end.
Throughout the day, while parents hoped and prayed that they would be reunited with their unaccounted for children, Amerie Jo’s stepfather, Angel Garza, took to Facebook asking for help when it had been seven hours with no word on her whereabouts. When he learned that she was one of the victims he added an update stating, “Thank you everyone for the prayers and help trying to find my baby. She’s been found. My little love is now flying high with the angels above. Please don’t take a second for granted. Hug your family. Tell them you love them. I love you Amerie jo. Watch over your baby brother for me.”
Arreola explained that the family had been notified by Texas Rangers that Amerie Jo was among those fatally wounded and that she had been moved to the Bexar County Medical Examiner’s Office. It was then that she learned of her granddaughter’s heroism from survivors and the authorities.
“She was just super-outgoing,” Arreola remembered Amerie Jo. “She had a generous heart. She was always there to lend anybody a helping hand. She was very quick to be a teacher’s pet. She had just gotten her award today for A-B Honor Roll. She was very smart and she was looking forward to making a life for herself.”
In addition to her grandmother, stepfather and mother, Amerie Jo is survived by her 3-year-old brother, whom Arreola said she doted on.
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