BTS fans are coming together to honor Amerie Jo Garza, the 10-year-old Army who lost her life trying to save her classmates.
On Tuesday, May 24, Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, suffered a mass shooting that left 19 children and two teachers dead. The shooter, now identified as 18-year-old Salvador Ramos, opened fire at the elementary school at approximately 11:30 a.m. with an AR-15-style rifle. Ramos was fatally shot at the scene of the deadly incident at around 1 p.m.
In light of the incident, some media outlets’ coverage of the shooting’s victims included a photo of 10-year-old fourth grader Amerie Jo Garza in a BTS shirt.
Amerie was a brilliant student who had just received an honor roll award shortly before her death. Her grandmother, Berlina Irene Arreola, reported that her granddaughter was a model student and daughter who was “looking forward to making a life for herself.”
Amerie was also a hero for her classmates. As she tried to call 911 to get help for herself and those in the classroom with her, she was targeted and shot by Ramos, Arreola explained.
In an interview with her father, medical aide Angel Garza, he recalled arriving at the scene of the tragedy and discovering that his daughter had been a victim.
“One little girl was just covered in blood head to toe,” Angel told CNN’s Anderson Cooper. “She said she was OK — she was hysterical, saying that they shot her best friend … I asked the little girl the name, and … she said Amerie.” Through tears, Angel shared that Amerie’s 10th birthday had only taken place two weeks before, where she had been given the phone she attempted to call 911 with.
Angel hopes that Amerie is remembered as a “sweet, creative child who listened to her parents and never got in trouble.” He told CNN, “She was just trying to call the cops, that’s all … I just want people to know she died trying to save her classmates. She just wanted to save everyone.”
In response to the tragedy, BTS fans have taken to social media to honor their fellow Army.
They have also taken to GoFundMe to raise money for the Garza family and other victims.
In the comments section, Army donors have left encouraging messages. “Sending all my love to the family at this time. As an Army, I believe she was given a loving warm welcome from all our army members that are in the sky :’),” one commenter stated.
At the time of this writing, $92,218 has been raised, surpassing the fundraiser’s $50,000 goal with over 3,000 donations.
Feature Image via Facebook: Angel Garza (left), MSNBC (right)