On Tuesday morning, Texas senior Amerie Jo Garza, 10, smiled for a photo as she held up a colorful school certificate naming her for the honor roll at Robb Elementary in Uvalde, Texas. Taken around 10:00, it was the last photograph of her alive, her grandmother, Berlinda Irene Arreola, told 'The Daily Beast' in an interview in which she described the girl as "super outgoing."
"My granddaughter was shot to death for trying to call the ER, she died like a hero trying to get help for herself and her classmates," Arreola wrote in a text message to 'The Daily Beast'. "Then the gunman came in and told the kids, 'You're going to die,'" she explained. "And she had her phone and she called 112. And instead of grabbing it and breaking it or taking it from her, he shot her."
As news of the shooting and its death toll spread, Amerie's family members spent harrowing hours struggling to find out anything about their missing daughter. The girl's stepfather, Ángel Garza, published that they had no news of the little girl. "I don't ask for much or hardly post here but please it's been 7 hours and I still haven't heard from my love. Please fb help me find my daughter."
Garza, who had raised Amerie Jo with her mother since she was a baby, returned to Facebook shortly after 11 p.m. with the news that Amerie Jo was one of the victims. "Please don't take a second for granted," she wrote. "Hug your family. Tell them you love them. I love you Amerie Jo. Take care of your little brother for me."
The girl's grandmother said authorities told them Amerie Jo had been fatally injured and her body was at the Bexar County Medical Examiner's office for an autopsy.
Little Amerie Jo leaves behind a little brother, 3 years old, whom she adored. “She was very outgoing. She had a generous heart. She was always there to lend a hand to anyone. She was very intelligent and eager to live », her grandmother recalled.
Amerie was one of 19 children killed when 18-year-old gunman Salvadore Ramos ran into Robb School around 11.30 on Tuesday after shooting his grandmother, crashing his car into a ditch and being chased by local police. He barricaded himself in a classroom and shot "anything that got in his way," according to the Texas Department of Public Safety.