‘She died trying to save her classmates’ — Texas school-shooting father on daughter’s final moments

CNN reporter Anderson Cooper, left, with Angel Garza, who lost his daughter, Amerie, 10, in a mass shooting incident at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas on Tuesday (PHOTO: CCNN/YouTube)

A grieving father who lost his young daughter on Tuesday in the horrific shooting which claimed 21 lives at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, told CNN his child “died trying to save her classmates.”

Angel Garza told CNN’s Anderson Cooper his child, Amerie Jo Garza, 10, whom he described as “the sweetest little girl,” tried to use her cell phone to call the police when the gunman took her life.

“She was just trying to do the right thing. She was just trying to call the cops, that’s all,” he said. “I just want people to know that she just died trying to save her classmates. She just wanted to save everyone.”

Garza, a medical aide, said his daughter had just received a phone for her birthday two weeks before the shooting in which 18-year-old Salvador Ramos opened fire at the school, killing 19 students and two teachers, and wounding 17 people.

After Garza arrived at the scene on Tuesday to help victims, he said two students revealed his child was shot while trying to phone authorities for help.

He shared some incredibly painful details in his gut-wrenching interview with Cooper. They only add to the unimaginable images of the horrors that befell students inside the building.

“One little girl was just covered in blood head-to-toe. I thought she was injured. I asked her what was wrong, and she said ‘she was ok,’” he said. “She was hysterical saying they shot her best friend. … ‘She’s not breathing, and she tried to call the cops.’ I asked the little girl the name, and she said, she told me ‘Amerie, she said Amerie.’”

Garza discussed his 3-year-old son as well, whom he said is processing through his sister’s loss as best a toddler can. The little boy, who adores his sister, was informed she has gone to be with the Lord.

“We’ve informed him that his sister is now with God, and she will no longer be with us,” the emotional dad said.

The shooting at the school has renewed discussion and debate about gun control and the underlying causes of mass shootings in America.

And while the nation retracts in horror, residents of Uvalde continue to process the atrocities that have rocked their community. A tearful vigil was held last night, bringing together hundreds of mourners who were joined by Texas Governor Greg Abbott, Sen, Ted Cruz (R), and others.

Continue to pray for this anguished community and bereaved parents as they continue to grapple with the unthinkable.

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