'Heart of gold': Heartbroken people of Uvalde pay tribute to Amerie Jo Garza as funerals for shooting victims begin
UVALDE, TEXAS: A funeral for a 10-year-old Amerie Jo Garza, who lost her life on May 24 after Salvador Ramos opened fire at her school, was held in Uvalde recently. Several heartbroken people attended the service as 20 more such tragic events are expected to take place soon.
The late 10-year-old's loved ones bid their final goodbye to her on Tuesday afternoon, May 31, after a Mass was held at Sacred Heart Catholic Church, which is about a mile away from Robb Elementary School, where she was killed. Ramos had entered the school at around 11:30 pm and began shooting, claiming the lives of 19 students and two school workers. The teenager had reportedly carried out the evil act after fatally shooting his grandmother earlier.
Uvalde school shooter Salvador Ramos was bullied for being poor and wearing eyeliner, classmates say
It has been reported that after the news of the school shooting broke out, Amerie’s stepfather Angel Garza ran to the school, where he found another 10-year-old girl soaked in blood. When he enquired the little one about it, she told him it was not hers but her best friend Amerie’s blood. Reports have also stated that Amerie was calling 911 for help when the gunman heard her voice and murdered her. Angel Garza said, “I just want people to know she died trying to save her classmates. She just wanted to save everyone,” he said.
The grieving dad also took to Facebook, where he wrote, "Thank you. Thank you for teaching me about bts and how cute the boys are 😒 Thank you for teaching me the difference between stoneware clay and ball clay. Thank you for teaching me about patience and the reward that comes with it. Thank you for teaching me about friendship and the passion that comes with it. Thank you for teaching me about hardship and the struggles that come with it. Thank you for teaching me about generosity and the honesty that comes with it. Thank you for teaching me about time and how for granted we take it. But most of all Amerie Jo thank you for teaching me about love and the beauty that comes with it. You’re loved by the world baby girl. 💜 #AJG."
Days after Amerie's death, the brave heart was posthumously honored with the Bronze Cross by the Girl Scouts of the United States of America on Friday, May 27. As per PEOPLE, “The national award is reserved for Girl Scouts who show ‘extraordinary heroism’ or risk their lives to save another's.”
Amerie's grandmother Berlinda Arreola said that her granddaughter’s “heroism has not gone unnoticed,” before adding, “We were so proud of her. It was so emotional, them reading this declaration to us for her, it was just — it's amazing. The words that they put into this thing was all Amerie, it was her and we are just so ecstatic about this. She deserved it. Our baby gave up her life for this, but she deserved it.”
During her funeral on Tuesday, most people came in lilac and lavender outfits as it was Amerie’s favorite color. Her family said, “Amerie Jo Garza was a kind, caring, blunt, loving, sweet, sassy and of course funny little diva who 'hated dresses' but nonetheless; she truly had a heart of gold.” With a heavy heart, the little girl was then put to rest at Hillcrest Memorial cemetery, following which white dove-shaped balloons were released into the sky.
Earlier, Angel had described her as a “sweetest little girl” and stated, “I just want to know what she did to be a victim. 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.”
A day after her tragic death, Amerie’s mother Kimberly Garcia shared a very devastating post on her Facebook page that read, “You did not deserve this my sweet baby girl 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.”