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Millions Raised Nationally For Four Children Of Teacher Killed In Texas Whose Husband Then Died

Irma and Joe Garcia
Irma and Joe Garcia Photo Credit: GoFundMe/Debra Austin

A GoFundMe effort launched to support the family of a slain teacher killed while protecting her students during the mass shooting in Uvalde, Texas has raised around $2 million as news spread that her grieving husband died of a heart attack just two days later.

Irma Garcia, age 48, was killed on Tuesday, May 24, along with another teacher when an 18-year-old gunman walked into her classroom with an AK-15 assault rifle and began shooting students.

In the end, 19 little children were dead, along with Garcia, another teacher and the gunman. Many others were wounded.

"She loved her classroom kids and died trying to protect them," wrote her cousin Debra Austin of Irma Garcia on the GoFundMe page.

On Thursday, May 26, her husband, Joe Garcia, age 50, had just dropped off flowers at a memorial for his wife when he died from a heart attack, said Austin.

The couple's nephew, John Martinez, said John Garcia "pretty much just fell over" and died after returning home.

"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," Austin wrote.

The couple left behind four children including the oldest, Cristian, who is serving in the Marine Corps as his brother, Jose, attended Texas State University, NPR reported.

Their eldest daughter Lyliana is a high school sophomore, the youngest daughter is a seventh-grade student, NPR said.

As the news of Joe Garcia's death spread, support began to pour into the GoFundMe effort that had set a goal of $10,000 to help the children. 

As of Friday, May 27, the fund had raised $1,890,520.

Austin is overwhelmed with the support, saying: "Irma was a wife, a mother of 4, a cousin, a sister a daughter, an aunt, and a wonderful person. She would literally do anything for questions asked."

All of the proceeds raised will be used to help the four children in the future, Austin said.

To donate to the GoFundMe effort, click here. 

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