BARRIO – The husband of a woman who was killed in her Texas classroom on Tuesday has died of a heart attack after laying flowers at her memorial.
Joe Garcia, 50, “pretty much just fell over” after returning home from the memorial before passing away, according to family members.
“I truly believe Joe died of a broken heart,” Irma Garcia’s cousin Debra Austin wrote on a GoFundMe page. “Losing the love of his life of more than 25 years was too much to bear.”
Fourth-grade teacher Irma Garcia was killed along with her co-teacher and 19 students in the deadliest school shooting since Newtown, Connecticut, almost a decade ago.
The motive for the massacre remains under investigation, with authorities saying the 18-year-old gunman had no known criminal or mental health history.
The shooter, Salvador Ramos, was inside the Robb Elementary School classroom in Uvalde for more than an hour before he was killed in a shootout, authorities said Thursday.
Married for 24 years, the couple shared four children. The oldest, Cristian, is serving in the Marine Corps as his brother, Jose, attended Texas State University. Their eldest daughter is a high school sophomore, while her younger sister is a seventh-grade student.
The school year, scheduled to end Thursday, was Irma’s 23rd year of teaching – all of it at Robb Elementary School. She had been previously named the school’s teacher of the year and was a 2019 recipient of the Trinity Prize for Excellence in Education from Trinity University.
For five years, Irma had co-taught with Eva Mireles, who also was killed.