The husband of Irma Garcia, the heroic fourth-grade teacher who died protecting students during a mass shooting at Robb Elementary School this week, has also died, the Garcia family said Thursday.
In a GoFundMe shared online by Garcia’s family, cousin Debra Garcia Austin wrote that Joe died on Thursday morning “as a result of a medical emergency.”
“I truly believe Joe died of a broken heart and losing the love of his life of more than 30 years was too much to bear,” she wrote.
“EXTREMELY heartbreaking and come with deep sorrow to say that my Tia Irma’s husband Joe Garcia has passed away due to grief,” said a tweet from a man who identified himself as Garcia’s nephew and whose previous tweets about Garcia had been widely shared by other family members. “[I] truly am at a loss for words for how we are all feeling.”
The couple had been married 24 years and left behind four children, according to Garcia’s bio on the Uvalde school district’s website.
After shooting his grandmother in the face and taking off in her truck on Tuesday morning, teen gunman Salvador Ramos crashed the truck near Robb Elementary and ran onto school grounds with a rifle. He barricaded himself in Garcia and co-teacher Eva Mireles’ interconnected classrooms, killing both teachers and 19 young students. Tactical police finally stormed the room after about an hour, killing Ramos.