The husband of a teacher killed in the Texas elementary school attack has died only two days after his wife.
Joe Garcia suffered a heart attack and died after the brutal massacre that took the life of his wife Irma and 20 other people.
Nineteen children from the same fourth-grade class all died in the attack. Irma was one of two teachers killed.
The Garcia family set up a fundraiser to help with funeral costs for Irma and have since added the grim update about their second loss.
"I truly believe Joe died of a broken heart and losing the love of his life of more than 25 years was too much to bear," wrote Debra Austin, Irma's cousin.
"Please keep our family in your thoughts and prayers."
The couple's nephew, John Martinez, has also confirmed the news, sharing the couple's heartbreaking love story.
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
"My Tia Irma and Joe Garcia were high school sweethearts," Martinez said.
"[They] leave behind four beautiful children, their ages being 23, 19, 15 and the youngest only being 13 years old."
He added: "No child should have to go through this, my heart breaks for them."
The couple was married for 24 years. Martinez also revealed the heartbreaking way his aunt died in the shooting.
"She passed away with children in her arms trying to protect them," he said. "Those weren’t just her students, they were her kids as well."
He added: "Irma Garcia is a hero, say her name."
Garcia taught at Robb Elementary in Uvalde, Texas for 23 years and had previously been named 'Teacher of the Year'.
She was also a finalist for Trinity University's prize for excellence in teaching in 2019.
The massacre has sent shockwaves through the tight knit Texan community, the broader United States and around the world.
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
Many, including US President Joe Biden, have asked how Congress can continue to stall gun reform laws as children die.
"Why are we willing to keep living with this carnage? It is time to turn this pain into action," Biden said in the hours after the Uvalde shooting.
"It's time to act."
More children have died from gun attacks in US schools than police officers on duty this tear, recent statistics have revealed.
Emergency responders are also being slammed for their slow response time to the shooting, according to Fox26.
Texan officials revealed that it took nearly an hour before US Border Patrol arrived and shot the lone gunman, ending his merciless killing spree.
A witness who saw the shooter crash his truck before entering the school with a rifle, also urged police to go in quicker.
"Go in there! Go in there!" the witness shouted at officers, who did not enter.
Featured Image Credit: Twitter/John Martinez. GoFundMe/Jamie & Debra Austin.
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