“This is the love of her life”: the story of Irma, victim of the Uvalde shooter, and Joe, her husband who died “of a broken heart”

Two days after the disappearance of his wife Irma, Joe Garcia traveled to Robb Elementary School Memorial in Uvalde, Texas, USA. He placed flowers in the meditation area, near white crosses with the names of the 21 victims who died under the bullets of a mad gunman. Then Joe went home. And he “just collapsed”, as did his nephew, John Martinez.

Joe Garcia 50, Irma 48. Irma first left, Tuesday morning, during the horrific murder committed by Salvador Ramos, 18, along with 19 children aged 9 and 10. “She died with children in his arms, he tries to protect them “, assures John Martinez on Twitter.

Joe Garcia, he died Thursday, after a heart attack. About 10 p.m., “when he got home, he was sitting at the kitchen table with his whole family, and after three minutes he just collapsed,” John told the Detroit Free Press.

Joe was not killed by the bullets of Salvador Ramos, the 18-year-old shooter, but his family, disbanded, believe he was also a victim of the tragedy that shook America. “I sincerely believe she died of a broken heart, and the loss of the love of her life for over 25 years is too much to bear,” wrote Debra Austin, a cousin of Irma. .

Young love

The story of Irma and Joe is the story of the couple meeting on the benches in high school, “a love of youth”, according to their nephew, which never stopped. It also talks about the couple who are devoted to their duties. Irma Garcia has been teaching at the same school for nearly 23 years, the shootings pointed to Tuesday morning. “I can’t wait to start this new year with you! “, he wrote in a message sent to his students in” 4th grade “(the equivalent of CM1 in France) on the site of his school, for the start of the school year.

She talks about her four children, now orphans, aged 23, 19, 15 and 13, and their respective accomplishments. “My oldest son, Cristian, is finishing his Navy training, and my one son, Jose, is studying at Texas State University. My oldest daughter, Lyliana, is a Sophomore (the equivalent of a second grade student in France, editor’s note), and my youngest, Alysandra, began her year in “7th grade “(the fifth, editor’s note)”, we read.

At school, Irma was a good teacher. “She treats her kids like her children,” Jose Garcia, her son, testified in the Washington Post. “They are his machine. She loves to hang out with kids and teach them things. Irma works with Eva Mireles, another 44-year-old teacher who also lost her life in the murders. They both studied at Sul Ross University in Texas a few years apart.

A “real American family”

Joe, he works at a supermarket in the HEB chain, a widespread brand in Texas and Mexico. “He works overtime so that nothing is missing from his family,” said John Martinez. “They make up the real American family. They pass on great values ​​and principles to their children.»

Together, Irma and Joe enjoyed hosting barbecues, fishing on the Gulf Coast, “listening to music, and spending time in the countryside of Concan,” a forest recreation area about a 20-minute drive from Uvalde. . They spend a lot of time with their family, hosting their nieces, nephews and cousins ​​for big holiday dinners. “Irma is the best cook I know, she loves to cook for everyone, for the whole family,” said Jose, her son.

The story of the Garcia family, shattered by the horror of the killings on Tuesday, has sparked emotional outbursts online. Two kittens were also launched by family members of Irma and Joe, with the support, in particular, of philanthropist Bill Pulte, who is known to make numerous donations on social networks. As of Friday morning, the total amount raised exceeded $ 1.8 million.

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