Irma Garcia’s family was already in shock after learning of her passing in the Texas school massacre that took place in her fourth grade classroom and claimed the lives of her co-teacher as well as 19 of her kids.
A family member said that only two days after the assault, the bereaved wife’s husband had a heart attack at home and passed away.
According to statements made by his nephew John Martinez to The New York Times, Joe Garcia, 50, went to the memorial for his wife in Uvalde, Texas, on Thursday morning, dropped down some flowers, and then returned home, where he “pretty much just slumped over” and died.
Martinez told The Detroit Free Press that the family was having trouble coming to terms with the fact that his mother had been killed in the shooting, even though the couple’s eldest son was serving in the Marine Corps and preparing for battle.
The news of Joe Garcia’s death was verified to The Associated Press by both the Archdiocese of San Antonio and the Rushing-Estes-Knowles Mortuary. On Thursday, the Associated Press was unable to independently contact any members of the Garcia family.
The authorities have stated that the shooter, who was 18 years old, did not have any known criminal or mental health history. However, the motive for the massacre, which was the deadliest school shooting in the United States since the attack in Newtown, Connecticut, in 2012, is still under investigation.
The shooting spree shook a nation that was already worn down by gun violence and decimated the village of Uvalde, which was mostly Latino and had around 16,000 residents and was located about 75 miles (120 kilometres) from the border with Mexico.
Irma Garcia, who is 48 years old and teaches at Robb Elementary School, said in an online post to her kids that her family enjoyed having barbecues. She adored going to Concan, which is a hamlet located along the Frio River approximately 25 miles (40 kilometres) north of Uvalde. Concan was one of her favourite places to visit.
Cristian, the couple’s eldest child, now serves in the Marine Corps. Jose is the couple’s second kid, and he is now a student at Texas State University. Their more junior daughter, Lyliana, is now a sophomore in high school, while their more youthful daughter is enrolled in the seventh grade.
Garcia has been a teacher for 23 years, and all of those years have been spent at Robb. The current school year is their 24th together. She had previously been awarded the title of Teacher of the Year at the institution, and in 2019, she was one of the recipients of Trinity University’s Trinity Prize for Excellence in Education.
Garcia collaborated in the classroom with Eva Mireles, another victim of this tragedy, over a period of five years.
According to the police, the suspect, Salvador Ramos, was present in the classroom for a period of time more than an hour before he was killed in a gun battle with law officials.
When Mrs. Irma Garcia was awarded teacher of the year, one of her colleagues, Allison McCullough, sent a letter saying that Mrs. Garcia had been a role model for her when she first started teaching. It was a turning point in my life when she patiently shared her vast store of knowledge with me.