Anderson Cooper comforts sobbing father as he recalls the moment he discovered his own daughter, 10, died in Texas school shooting while trying to call 911: ‘Oh, my baby. How do you shoot my baby?’
A medical aide found his own daughter dead in the aftermath of the Texas school massacre after the 10 year-old was killed while trying to dial 911.
Angel Garza said he learned his daughter, Amerie Jo Garza, had been murdered while he was trying to help a little girl who was ‘covered in blood head to toe’ and hysterically crying after the shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde on Tuesday.
‘I thought she was injured, I asked her what was wrong and she said she’s OK,’ Garza told CNN on Wednesday. ‘She was hysterical, saying that they shot her best friend, that they killed her best friend, she’s not breathing and she was trying to call the cops. And I asked the little girl the name and she told me, she said Amerie.’
Amerie, a fourth grader at Robb Elementary, was one of 19 students killed Tuesday morning when Salvador Ramos, 18, stormed the building and opened fire.
He father, fighting back tears during Wednesday’s interview, said his daughter, who just celebrated her tenth birthday, used her new cell phone to call 911 during the massacre.
‘She was just trying to call authorities and I guess he just shot her. How do you look at this girl and shoot her? Oh, my baby. How do you shoot my baby?’ Garza said.
‘I just want people to know that she died trying to save her classmates. She just wanted to save everyone,’ he added.
Med-aide Angel Garza learned his daughter, Amerie Jo Garza, was shot while administering aide to blood-covered her best friend after the shooting
Amerie, who had just celebrated her tenth birthday, used her new cell phone to call 911 during the massacre
The distraught father described Amerie as ‘the sweetest little girl’ who was a good student and always well-behaved for her family.
‘I just want to know what she did to be a victim,’ he questioned Wednesday. ‘She was so sweet… she was the sweetest little girl who did nothing wrong.
‘She listened to her mom and dad, she always brushed her teeth, she was creative, she made things for us, she never got in trouble in school.’
At an end-of-year awards ceremony just hours before she was shot and killed, Amerie had been named to the school’s honor roll.
Her mother, Kimberly Garcia, took to Facebook to address the family’s loss, saying it is incomprehensible
The 10-year-old was also a beloved big sister, whose little brother is heartbroken by her death.
‘We informed him that his sister is with God and that she will no longer be with us and of course he just cried,’ Garza said when asked if Amerie’s brother knew she was dead.
Her mother, Kimberly Garcia, took to Facebook to address the family’s loss, saying it is incomprehensible.
‘Mommy loves you, mommy can’t sleep without you Mommy needs you, Amerie I can’t do this life without you. How am I supposed to live life without you? I will never understand. I love you and I’ll never be the same, ever again,’ Garcia penned.
In another post, she added: ‘My heart is completely shattered.’
Angel Garza, pictured with Amerie in an undated photo, told CNN on Wednesday: ‘I just want to know what she did to be a victim’
The distraught father described Amerie as ‘the sweetest little girl’ who was a good student and always well-behaved for her family. Before she was shot and killed, Amerie had been named to the school’s honor roll. Angel Garza holds a framed photo of his daughter on Wednesday
Amerie Jo Garza (right) is pictured with her mother, Kimberly Garcia (left), at Robb Elementary School’s end-of-year awards ceremony
Similarly to Garza, Texas sheriff’s deputy Felix Rubio was responding to Tuesday’s school massacre was told his daughter was among the victims.
Felix Rubio was snapped clutching his wife Kimberly for support in Uvalde on discovering their beloved daughter Lexi, 10, was among 19 children murdered at Robb Elementary School by shooter Salvador Ramos.
The pain was clearly etched in Rubio’s face as he tried to comfort his wife. Even more heartbreakingly, he’d posed proudly with Lexi just hours before her death.
She had received a certificate for making the honor roll at Robb, and beamed proudly with her parents for a photo that was to be the last snap ever taken of them.
At the ceremony, Lexi made the All-A honor roll and won the school’s good citizen award, her mother, Kimberly, wrote in a Facebook post.
Kimberly spoke about her final interaction with her daughter saying: ‘We told her we loved her and would pick her up after school. We had not idea this was goodbye.’
Felix also spoke to CNN while in extreme visible distress Wednesday, and called for gun control measures to try and prevent other parents suffering losses like his.
Felix Rubio is snapped cradling his wife Kimberly after learning their daughter Lexi was among 10 children killed at Robb Elementary School in Texas Tuesday
Felix Rubio attempted to console his wife as the horror unfolded on May 24 after learning the couple’s daughter Lexi, 10, was among 19 children brutally murdered while at school
Felix Rubio was one of the many law enforcement officers who responded to the school following the shooting
During a press conference following the shooting, Texas Governor Gregg Abbott confirmed that a sheriff’s deputy had lost a child at Robb Elementary School
Salvador Ramos legally purchased two AR-15 style rifles (right) including the one he used in yesterday’s attack after his 18th birthday last week. The gunman also bought more than 300 rounds of ammunition
The distraught parent continued: ‘All I can hope is that she’s just not a number. This is enough. No one else needs to go through this. We never needed to go through this, but we are.’
During a press conference following the shooting, Texas Governor Gregg Abbott confirmed that a sheriff’s deputy had lost a child at Robb Elementary School.
In a live interview with CNN the day after the attack, Felix said through tears: ‘I’ve had enough with guns. I don’t want my daughter’s name to be just another name.’
When asked what issues he would like to see resolved following the shooting, Felix said: ‘Violence, guns. I’m a cop. I’m a deputy here in Uvalde County. This is enough.’
Felix and Kimberly Ramos pictured with their daughter just hours before the shooting
Felix Rubio pictured in uniform alongside his wife in 2018
Felix Rubio and his wife, Kimberly, pictured in February 2022
Felix told CNN in a heartbreaking tear-filled interview: ‘I’ve had enough with guns. I don’t want my daughter’s name to be just another name’
In a separate interview, Felix said that his daughter was going to be an all-star softball player
The grieving parents later told CNN via text message that their daughter was ‘kind, sweet, and appreciated life. She was going to be an all-star in softball and had a bright future whether it’s sports or academic. Please let the world know we miss our baby.’
In response to Lexi’s tragic death, her aunt set up a GoFundMe page to help her parents in their time of need.
Department of Public Safety Lt. Christopher Olivarez told CNN that the shooter barricade himself inside of a single classroom, and that it is inside that classroom where most or all of the 19 children and two teachers were killed.
Police and state troopers arrived in time to hear gunshots inside a classroom where the man barricaded himself and began shooting children and teachers.
Shortly before the shooting unfolded, an awards ceremony was held for students at Rabb Elementary. At the ceremony, Lexi won the good citizen prize and was named to the honor roll
Lexi’s mother wrote in a Facebook post: ‘My sweet Lexi. Love of my life. Keeper of my soul. I carried you inside me. I’m you. You are me. I want to be with you. Now. Not later’
The unnamed agent who shot and killed Ramos is believed to be from the Border Patrol Tactical Unit (BORTAC), which has specialized agents dispersed throughout the United States.
The BORTAC agent, whose identity has not yet been revealed, rushed into the school without waiting for backup.
Ramos was behind a barricade, returning fire, but the border patrol agent managed to shoot and kill the gunman before he could claim more victims.
Kimberly Rubio is studying history at St. Mary’s University in San Antonio where she is a scholarship student
‘They came in from opposite sides. The BORTAC agent ended up exchanging gunfire with the shooter, killed the shooter, and I am told that the agent was injured in his leg,’ reported Fox News.
‘They are trying to figure out if he was shot in the leg or hit by shrapnel.’
In an interview with KENS5, a survivor of the tragedy said: ‘When the cops came, the cop said: ‘Yell if you need help!’ And one of the persons in my class said ‘help.’ The guy overheard and he came in and shot her,’ the boy said. ‘The cop barged into that classroom. The guy shot at the cop. And the cops started shooting.’
That child credited the deceased teachers, Irma Garcia and Eva Mireles, with saving his life. He said: ‘They were nice teachers. They went in front of my classmates to help. To save them.’
In 2018, Felix completed an active shooter training program alongside another deputy
The post announcing that Felix had a completed an active shooter course included the words: ‘We never hope for situations where this type of training is needed, but we will always train to be prepared for the worst scenarios’
According to a Facebook post from the Uvalde County Sheriff’s Office in April 2018, Felix completed a week long active shooter training course that month alongside a fellow deputy.
The post read in part: ‘We never hope for situations where this type of training is needed, but we will always train to be prepared for the worst scenarios.’
At the beginning of May 2022, Kimberly received an award in leadership from St. Mary’s University in San Antonio. While in March 2022, Kimberly was the recipient of the 2022 Alice Franzke Non-Traditional Student Scholarship Award at the school.
In a profile on St. Mary’s website, Kimberly is described as pursuing a history degree. She is referred to as an award-winning journalist, having won prizes with South Texas Press Association for work as a reporter and editor with the Uvalde Leader-News.
Victims of Uvalde school shooting
The shooting at Robb Elementary in Uvalde, Texas left 19 students and two teachers dead. Here are the victims that have been identified so far:
Fourth grader Alithia Ramirez (at left) was confirmed dead early Wednesday by her father, Ryan Ramirez, who shared a post to Facebook showing the 10-year-old with angel’s wings. He had used the same photo the previous day as he pleaded for help finding her after the massacre. Jaliah Nicole Silguero (at right) was also confirmed as one of the victims early Wednesday, with her mother Veronica Luevanos also sharing a memorial post saying saying she was ‘heartbroken’ over the loss
Jayce Carmelo Luevanos (at left), who appears to be Jaliah’s cousin based on posts shared by the family, was confirmed as one of the dead Wednesday by his aunt. ‘Still can’t believe that we’re never gonna see you again,’ she wrote on Facebook. Amerie Jo Garza (pictured at right with her father, Angel Garza) was confirmed dead by her dad Wednesday. The grieving parent captioned the post: ‘My little love is now flying high with the angels above’
Uziyah Garcia, nine, (left) and Makenna Elrod, 10, (right) were both confirmed dead by loved ones on Facebook
Xavier Lopez, 10, (left) and Eliahana Torres, 10, (right) was also killed at the school shooting on Tuesday
Ellie Lugo (left) and Nevaeh Bravo (right) were also killed. Ellie was reported as missing for several hours before her parents confirmed her death
Annabelle Guadalupe Rodriguez, 10, and Rogelio Torres, right, were also killed
Irma Garcia (left) and Eva Mireles (right), who co-taught fourth grade, were both shot and killed at Robb Elementary School on Tuesday