Watch CBS News

Teacher killed trying to protect kids in Texas school shooting and her husband who died two days later are laid to rest in Uvalde

Uvalde mourns victims amid investigation
Uvalde mourns victims amid shooting investigation 02:27

The Texas town of Uvalde on Wednesday is laying to rest one of the two teachers gunned down in last week's elementary school massacre, along with her husband who died two days later — leaving their four children orphaned.

Irma Garcia, 48, was killed when a teenaged gunman went on a rampage at Robb Elementary on May 24, a massacre that also left another teacher and 19 young children dead.

Adding to the tragedy, her husband Joe died two days later. They had been married for more than 24 years.

"They began their relationship in high school and it flourished into a love that was beautiful and kind," obituaries for the two said.

School shooting at Robb Elementary in Uvalde, Texas
A cardboard cutout depicting the fourth-grade teacher Irma Garcia, one of the victims of the Robb Elementary school shooting, is seen at the memorial outside the school, where a gunman killed 19 children and two adults, in Uvalde, Texas, May 29, 2022. MARCO BELLO / REUTERS

They are survived by two daughters and two sons.

A GoFundMe set up for the Garcias said Joe died of a "medical emergency" on May 26. It sought to raise $10,000, but more than $2.78 million has been donated so far.

"I truly believe Joe died of a broken heart," Irma Garcia's cousin Debra Austin wrote on the page. "Losing the love of his life of more than 25 years was too much to bear." 

Joe Garcia was 50 years old and had just gotten home from leaving flowers at his wife's memorial when he "pretty much just fell over," his nephew, John Martinez, told The New York Times

Martinez wrote on Twitter that his uncle had "passed away due to grief." 

"I truly am at a loss for words for how we are all feeling," he said. "...God have mercy on us, this isn't easy." 

fourth grader who survived Tuesday's shooting told CBS affiliate KENS-TV that Irma Garcia and another teacher who was killed, 44-year-old Eva Mireles, saved his and other kids' lives. 

"They were in front of my classmates to help," he said. "To save them." 

The first funerals for students killed in the attack were held Tuesday. As the community mourned, anger has mounted over the response by police.

Officers have come under intense criticism over why it took well over an hour to neutralize the gunman, a move Texas Department of Public Safety director Steven McCraw has admitted was the "wrong decision."

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.