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Joe Garcia, whose wife was one of the teachers killed in the Uvalde shooting, has passed away just two days after his partner.
Joe Garcia, the husband of Irma Garcia – one of the teachers – has since passed away from a reported heart attack just days after his wife's death.
Garcia's cousin, Debra Austin, shared news of his passing via a GoFundMe page dedicated to the pair.
After paying her respects to the teacher, she wrote: "I am equally devastated to report Irma's husband Joe has tragically passed away this morning (5/26/2022) as a result of a medical emergency.
"Please keep our family in your thoughts and prayers. I truly believe Joe died of a broken heart and losing the love of his life of more than 30 years was too much to bear."
i’m already being asked if there’s a gofund me and yes there is, Irma’s cousin set this up, even just a retweet would help https://t.co/9eSn3AaVfU— john martinez ❤️🔥 (@fuhknjo) May 26, 2022
John Martinez, Garcia's nephew, also tweeted: "EXTREMELY heartbreaking and come with deep sorrow to say that my Tia Irma’s husband Joe Garcia has passed away due to grief.
"I truly am at a loss for words for how we are all feeling. PLEASE PRAY FOR OUR FAMILY, God have mercy on us, this isn’t easy."
Martinez continued: "My Tia Irma and Joe garcia were high school sweethearts and leave behind 4 beautiful children, their ages being 23, 19, 15 and the youngest only being 13 years old, no child should have to go through this, my heart breaks for them.
Garcia and her fellow fourth-grade teacher Eva Mireles have been hailed by many as heroes."
EXTREMELY heartbreaking and come with deep sorrow to say that my Tia Irma’s husband Joe Garcia has passed away due to grief, i truly am at a loss for words for how we are all feeling, PLEASE PRAY FOR OUR FAMILY, God have mercy on us, this isn’t easy pic.twitter.com/GlUSOutRVV— john martinez ❤️🔥 (@fuhknjo) May 26, 2022
Martinez told The New York Times his aunt was found 'embracing children in her arms pretty much until her last breath'.
On a fundraising page for 'any expenses needed for [Garcia's] funeral and for the family needs', Martinez wrote: "She sacrificed herself protecting the kids in her classroom. She was a hero. She was loved by many and will truly be missed.
"We love you so much Irma."
My tia did not make it, she sacrificed herself protecting the kids in her classroom, i beg of you to keep my family including all of her family in y’all’s prayers , IRMA GARCIA IS HER NAME and she died a HERO. she was loved by many and will truly be missed. pic.twitter.com/2XpdJA0q8x— john martinez ❤️🔥 (@fuhknjo) May 25, 2022
The shooter, who was shot dead by police at the scene, has since been identified as 18-year-old Salvador Ramos.
His grandfather has since spoken out about the incident, claiming that neither he nor Ramos's grandmother or the rest of the family were aware the teenager had purchased two guns after his 18th birthday.
He also said he would have reported his grandson had he known.
If you have experienced a bereavement and would like to speak with someone in confidence contact Cruse Bereavement Care via their national helpline on 0808 808 1677
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