The husband of one of the teachers killed in Tuesday’s mass shooting at a Texas elementary school has died of a heart attack, family members say.
Joe Garcia died at home Thursday morning, according to social media posts and a statement on a verified GoFundMe fundraiser set up for the family of Irma Garcia, a fourth-grade teacher at Robb Elementary School.
Irma and Joe were married for 24 years and had four children, according to a biography on the school’s website.
John Martinez, who identified himself as Irma’s nephew in online posts, said Joe “passed away due to grief.”
Another nephew, Joey Martinez, confirmed Joe’s cause of death was a heart attack.
“I truly believe Joe died of a broken heart and losing the love of his life,” Debra Austin, who identified herself as Irma’s cousin, wrote on the GoFundMe page for the family.
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
Lord god please on our family, my tias husband passed away this morning due to a heart attack at home he’s with his wife now, these two will make anyone feel loved no matter what they have the purest hearts ever I love you sm tia and tio please be with me every step of the way pic.twitter.com/opivBERMvv
— Joey.mtz (@Joeymtz4) May 26, 2022
The fundraiser has surpassed its goal of US$10,000, raising more than $600,000 in just one day.
Another verified GoFundMe set up by John Martinez and his brother has raised US$528,000 — shattering its goal of $30,000.
Irma Garcia and another teacher, Eva Mireles, were killed along with 19 children after a gunman entered a Grade 4 classroom on Tuesday and opened fire.
Officials said on Thursday the gunman, Salvador Ramos, entered through an unlocked door and was inside the building for at least three-quarters of an hour before Border Patrol agents stormed a classroom and killed him.
The motive for the massacre — the nation’s deadliest school shooting since Newtown, Conn., a decade ago — remained under investigation, with authorities saying Ramos had no known criminal or mental health history.
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