Joe Garcia had not even laid wife Irma to rest before he died of a ‘broken heart’ (Picture: KHOU/GoFundMe)

Tragic footage shows the grieving husband of a teacher killed in the Texas school massacre visiting a memorial to her before he collapsed at home and ‘died of a broken heart’.

Joe Garcia, 50, left some red roses on a cross with late wife Irma’s name inscribed on it at a memorial in Uvalde on Thursday morning.

The high school sweethearts had been married for 24 years and had four children.

Within hours, Joe himself was dead of a heart attack, which relatives have blamed on the anguish of losing his wife.

Joe Garcia visited his wife’s memorial this morning to place flowers on a cross with her name on it. Joe is the husband to Irma Garcia. Not long after Joe visited Irma’s memorial, he suffered a heart attack and died.


— KHOU 11 News Houston (@KHOU) May 26, 2022

Her cousin, Debra Austin, said: ‘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.’

Irma, 48, was in her 23rd year of teaching when she was killed and had spent all of that time at Robb Elementary School.

She had previously been named the school’s teacher of the year and spent the past five years co-teaching with Eva Mireles, 44, who was also killed in the massacre.

Joe and Irma Garcia (Picture: Facebook)

Irma was a teacher at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde and died in the shooting there (Picture: UCISD)

Messages are written on a cross honoring Irma Garcia (Picture: AP)

Joe lay flowers at his wife’s memorial hours before dying at home (Picture: Twitter @KHOU)

The fourth-grade teacher wrote on the school district’s website before the start of this year: ‘I am so excited to begin this new school year already!’

In an online letter to students, Irma said her family loved to barbecue and described how she enjoyed listening to music and travelling to Concan, a community along the Frio River about 25 miles north of Uvalde.

The couple’s oldest child, Cristian, is a Marine. The couple’s other son, Jose, attends Texas State University. Their eldest daughter, Lyliana, is a high school sophomore, while her younger sister is in the seventh grade.

Eva Mireles (left) and Irma Garcia (right) (Picture: Facebook/Alexander Solis La Torre)

Jose, 19, said his mother ‘treated her students as her own’, and adorned her classrooms with college memorabilia to inspire the children she taught to reach their academic potential.

He added: ‘They were her lifeblood. She loved engaging with children and teaching them. She loved her job and she loved her co-workers.’ 

Three of the children were seen consoling each other at a mass to remember their parents later on Thursday night.

Father Eduardo Morales blessed them and said: ‘We are your family. Your mother and father will always find a way to take care of you.’

Teenage gunman Salvador Ramos (Picture: Police Handout/Zuma Press Wire Service/Shutterstock)

Crosses with the names of each of the victims (Picture: Reuters)

Salvador Ramos, 18, stormed into the elementary school on Tuesday, killing 19 children as well as Irma and Ms Mireles, who died trying to shield the youngsters.

In an emotional tribute shared to Facebook, Ms Mireles’ daughter, Adalynn Ruiz, praised her mother who ‘selflessly jumped in front of her students to save their lives’.

She wrote: ‘Thank you for being the best mom anyone could ask for. You are so known by many now and I’m so happy that people know your name and that beautiful face of yours and they know what a hero looks like.

‘I don’t know how to do this life without you, but I will take care of dad. I will take care of our dogs and I will forever say your name so you are always remembered.’

‘Eva Mireles, 4th grade teacher at Robb Elementary who selflessly jumped in front of her students to save their lives.’

It was the United States’ deadliest school shooting in nearly a decade.

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Ramos, a high school dropout with no known criminal record or history of mental health problems, was shot dead at the scene.

In the half-hour before the killings, he posted on Facebook to say that he was going to shoot his grandmother, then that he had done so, and then that he was going to shoot up an unspecified elementary school.

He legally bought the assault rifles soon after his 18th birthday and days before the attack, law enforcement officials told state lawmakers.

Authorities haven’t disclosed a full list of the victims. Nor have many important details about the attack been made public.

Among them: what transpired between Ramos and the school officer who first encountered him; who saw the online posts attributed to him; what, if any, history he had with Robb Elementary; and why he went on the rampage.

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