He died of what his family described “a broken heart” two days after Irma Garcia, his wife of 24 years, was shot and killed in a mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas.
Joe Garcia, 50, passed away early on Thursday morning after bringing flowers to Irma Garcia’s grave. John Martinez, the couple’s nephew, told the New York Times that his uncle “pretty much just fell over” when he arrived home. Martinez has provided NBC Story with confirmation of the news.
“When he got home, he was at home for no more than 3 minutes after sitting down on a chair with the family. He just fell over. They tried doing chest compressions and nothing worked. The ambulance came and they couldn’t, they couldn’t bring him back”. “I don’t even know how to feel. I don’t believe it. I don’t want to believe it.”
Irma Garcia, a teacher at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, was one of two teachers murdered in the school’s mass shooting on Tuesday. She was co-teaching fourth grade, a job she shared with Eva Mireles, who was also slain.
Their son, Christian Garcia, told NBC News that a friend of his in law enforcement stated he witnessed his mother protecting her students during the shooting. For the last moments of her life, she held the children in her arms, according to Martinez.
As of Friday morning, a GoFundMe campaign to assist the children and reconstruct their lives had received almost $1.7 million.