Maite Yuleana Rodriguez loved the color green, jalapeños, the TV show "Attack On Titan" and wanted to be a marine biologist when she grew up. On Tuesday, she was killed alongside 18 other schoolmates at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas.
Her mother Ana Rodriguez is now speaking out about her daughter, writing on Facebook that her daughter's sudden death "has rocked me to my core."
"This horrific and senseless nightmare that I just can't seem to wake up from has absolutely crushed and debilitated my life and heart," she wrote. "...[She was] my very best friend."
were killed on Tuesday when a gunman barricaded himself inside a classroom at Robb Elementary School. Two teachers were also killed on what was one of the final days of school before summer vacation.
Officials have said that nearly 20 police officers were standing in the hallways outside the classrooms during the attack forand only entered once they got a key to open the door. The on-site commander had believed that "there was no more threat to the children" as the gunman was barricaded in the classroom, officials said Friday.
Amid the tragedy, Ana Rodriguez also shared what she wants the world to know and remember about her daughter. Along with sharing a series of photos of the two, Rodriguez started with the simple fact that "her favorite color was green."
"She loved those lime green converse, so much so that she drew a heart on the right one, her favorite show was attack on titans," she wrote. "...Her favorite meal was #13 from Whataburger with a side of sliced jalapeños (don't forget the jalapeños mom!)."
Maite used YouTube to teach herself how to sew, and according to her mom, she absolutely had to sleep on the right side of the bed. And she excelled at school and was on the AB honor roll. When it came to P.E., she had to be No. 1. Rodriguez said that her daughter was extremely competitive and would always share stories about that particular class when she would get home from school.
But that competitiveness was no match for her "sweet, charismatic, loving" nature, Rodriguez said, and all of her traits only drove her to dream big. With everything else she enjoyed doing, she had just started to enjoy photography.
"Her dream to become a marine biologist started in kindergarten and she had her heart set on Texas A&M university in Corpus Christi," Rodriguez said.
"She was a beautiful soul, inside and out. She was definitely way better than I was at that age," she told Rolling Stone. "I was so proud of her."
Rodriguez told the magazine that it's "absolute insanity" that the gunman who killed her daughter was able to legally buy his rifles at just 18 years old.
"How can an 18-year-old buy an AR but he cannot buy beer," she told Rolling Stone. "...In my opinion, nobody's brain is fully developed at the age of 18. You're still a child, and what would a child do with an AR? I guess we all know now."
As part of her post on Facebook, Rodriguez included a final message to her deceased daughter.
"As I lay here on this empty bed and with tears running down my face at 3am," she said, "I would like to say to my baby girl 'it's not goodbye it's I'll see you later my sweet girl.' I LOVE YOU."
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