Currents News Staff
This is how those who love 10-year-old Amerie Joe Garza will remember her: a decade of photos showing a happy girl with a sweet smile, described by family as sassy, funny and a little diva who hated wearing dresses.
Those are memories of happier times as her family, friends and community say goodbye during visitation and a rosary service.
“It brings me joy to know that she, that I got an opportunity to have such a great daughter and you know, I tried to be the best father that I could be,” said her father Alfred Garza.
Just down the road, another grieving family says goodbye to Maite Rodriguez who is also 10 years old.
“I love her, I miss her, I’m proud of it,” said her cousin Destiny Esquivel. “She wanted to be a marine biologist before she could even say the word. She loved animals.”
Father Eduardo Morales will lead 12 funeral services at Sacred Heart Catholic Church over the next two weeks.
“It’s as if it’s one huge funeral that is not ending,” said Father Morales. “We laugh because we don’t want to cry.”
As families bury their children, there are growing questions and outrage about the police response. The Justice Department now says it will review the response, which Texas officials say deviated from active shooter protocols.
“Had they gotten there sooner and somebody would have taken immediate action,” said Alfred Garza, “we might have more of those children here today, including my daughter.”
Texas State Sen. Roland Gutierrez said President Biden told him that Robb Elementary School would be raised and rebuilt as part of a federal grant process for schools where there have been mass shootings.
“What kind of world are we living in that legislation was created for raising these schools?” asked Gutierrez.
For some parents, those questions come too late.
“No matter who is held responsible, it’s not gonna bring my daughter back,” Alfred said. “She was the perfect daughter to me.”