BTS ARMYs are coming together to honor a fellow ARMY who lost her life in Texas’s recent tragic school shooting.
On Tuesday, May 24, an 18-year-old gunman, identified as resident Salvador Ramos, attacked Robb Elementary School with an AR-15-style semi-automatic rifle. The tragedy occurred in Uvalde, about 80 miles west of San Antonio in Texas.
I can’t stop thinking about this photo from the Uvalde Leader-News of terrified Texas elementary school students running for their lives from the school where a gunman killed 19 children and 2 teachers. 📸 – Pete Luna pic.twitter.com/PHa5iNMhV6
— Megan Menchaca (@meganmmenchaca) May 26, 2022
Texas Department of Public Safety Lt. Christopher Olivarez told CBS Mornings that Ramos “shot his grandmother before driving to the nearby school.” He shared his plans via social media, then left and crashed his vehicle before entering the building.
They heard the gunfire, they saw the shooter. At that point they were met with gunfire by the shooter. Several police officers were shot. At that point, the gunman, the shooter, was able to make entry into a classroom, barricaded himself, and at that point just started shooting children and teachers that were inside that classroom, having no regard for human life.
— Texas Department of Public Safety Lt. Christopher Olivarez
Robb Elementary School teachers were “breaking windows around the school, trying to evacuate children,” while shots were being fired inside, says Lt. Chris Olivarez, a spokesperson for the Texas Dept. of Public Safety. pic.twitter.com/GLgDZBiaVT
— CBS Mornings (@CBSMornings) May 25, 2022
Ramos ultimately massacred at least 19 children and two fourth-grade teachers. Others have been reported injured, and the responding officers shot the gunman down. It’s now considered the “deadliest school shooting in the state’s history.”
What happened in Uvalde is a horrific tragedy that cannot be tolerated in the state of Texas.
— Republican Gov. Greg Abbott
HuffPost has released an article highlighting “The Victims Of The Texas School Shooting.” One of the featured children who lost their lives is fourth-grader Amerie Jo Garza. In a photo shared by her family, she is pictured in a BTS T-Shirt.
In the article, she is praised for her intelligence and bravery. She had just won an honor roll award that Tuesday morning before the shooting. Her grandmother, Berlina Irene Arreola, also revealed to The Daily Beast that Amerie Jo Garza had lost her life while calling 911.
My [granddaughter] was shot and killed for trying to call 911, she died a hero trying to get help for her and her fellow classmates. So the gunman went in and he told the children, ‘You’re going to die.’ And she had her phone and she called 911. And instead of grabbing it and breaking it or taking it from her, he shot her… She was sitting right next to her best friend. Her best friend was covered in her blood.
— Berlina Irene Arreola
“My granddaughter was in there.”
10-year-old Amerie Jo Garza’s grandma is heartbroken outside Robb Elementary. pic.twitter.com/SV8pXbQYGx
— Brian Entin (@BrianEntin) May 26, 2022
Her father, Angel Garza, spoke to ABC News, revealing that his daughter had just turned 10 years old two weeks prior. He also spoke with The New York Times, where he revealed the loss came after the family had lost relatives during the COVID-19 pandemic.
We were finally getting a break, nobody was passing away. Then this happened.
— Angel Garza
Amerie Jo Garza's father, a med aide, says he found out she was one of the victims when he arrived on the scene and was helping another little girl covered in blood. She told him her best friend had been shot. When he asked her name, she said his daughter's. There aren't words. pic.twitter.com/CEH2JuseHw
— Kaitlan Collins (@kaitlancollins) May 26, 2022
On Facebook, Angel Garza shared a message of gratitude for those who had been attempting to help find Amerie Jo Garza. He honored her life and encouraged others to care of their loved ones.
Thank you everyone for the prayers and help trying to find my baby. She’s been found. My little love is now flying high with the angels above. Please don’t take a second for granted. Hug your family. Tell them you love them. I love you Amerie jo. Watch over your baby brother for me.
— Angel Garza via Facebook
The BTS fandom, ARMY, is also especially honoring Amerie Jo Garza, as she was one of them.
sady many beautiful souls were lost, including one our own army! My deepest condolences to every victim! I have pinned the gofund me for the families of the victims.
Her aunt commented on the above viral TikTok video, remembering how much Amerie Jo Garza loved BTS. The young ARMY would proudly show off her merchandise.
Likewise, a Texan BTS ARMY page on Facebook shared a post in honor of Amerie Jo Garza.
ARMYs on Twitter are honoring as well. One post that has since gone viral shared that they would be “lighting a candle for her, her classmates, and her teachers.” In Hispanic culture, burning a candle is a sign of divine power. So, one lights candles to pray and/or memorialize the deceased.
Amerie Jo Garza, 10 years old, was one of us. She was BTS ARMY. She was shot & killed trying to call 911 to save her classmates. This little girl is my new hero, and I’ll be lighting a candle for her, her classmates, and her teachers tonight.https://t.co/AIcxy575J3 pic.twitter.com/IT8wMEtRcA
— Meike⁷ | borahae arts (@BorahaeArts) May 25, 2022
So, others are doing the same.
I can’t even imagine what the parents and families are going thru rn. It’s horrifying. Evil has no empathy. We will surely remember our dear darling army. We embrace your spirit sweetheart. Army will remember you 🙏💜💜💜💜💜💜💜💜💜💜💜💜💜💜💜💜💜 pic.twitter.com/U8DG8N0jVQ
— ⟭⟬ JK’s Vɪʙʀᴀᴛᴏ Is Hᴇᴀᴠᴇɴ⁷⟬⟭ 💜 (@Stasis119) May 25, 2022
ARMYs are also sharing and donating to the GoFundMe created by Amerie Jo Garza’s mom’s best friend.
Hi my name is Jasmine and Kimberly Garcia is my Bestfriend. Sadly she lost her babygirl in yesterdays school shooting at Robb Elementary. Amerie was born May 10th and had just turned 10 years old. Amerie was such a beautiful soul. She touched everyone’s hearts around her and she lit up every room she walked into. She received an award yesterday for honor roll just before the shooting occurred. She was so smart and such a good child. Amerie is known for being a hero and trying to call 911 before the shooter took her life. We appreciate anything you are willing to donate! Please keep Ameries mom her dads and family in your prayers and in Gods name we pray amen
I would like to add that after losing a love one there comes ‘ post traumatic distress ‘ which includes anxiety, angry, frustration, mental illness, losing jobs and this is where the money will Come to assist Kimberly to continue to survive with her son. She will also need money to pay co- payments for counselors for not only herself but for her son Zayne, and both of Ameries fathers Angel and Alfred. Thank you to everyone who is being understanding and sensitive to this matter. God bless you all for your generous donations
— Jasmine Wright via GoFundMe
This is the GoFundMe linked to by Amerie’s dad: https://t.co/DbyECEBA5K
As mentioned it’s not on the list verified by GoFundMe, however the screenshot below is from his Facebook account. pic.twitter.com/pMqZ3rIbZu
— Meike⁷ | borahae arts (@BorahaeArts) May 26, 2022
Everyone is in awe of Amerie Jo Garza’s heart and courage. And many of the donators in the comment section are fellow ARMYs.
At the time of writing, $62,759 USD has been raised from the original $50,000 USD goal with 2.1K donations. Jasmine Wright, the organizer of the GoFundMe campaign, shared an update, thanking everyone.