(NewsNation) — Amerie Jo Garza, a 10-year-old girl who died in the shooting at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, was posthumously given one of the Girl Scouts’ highest honors — a Bronze Cross.
The Bronze Cross award, the Girl Scouts of Southwest Texas said in a tweet, is awarded to a person who saved or attempted to save someone’s life at the risk of their own.
“On May 24, Amerie did all she could to save the lives of her classmates and teachers,” the tweet read. “It was our honor as Amerie’s council to present the Bronze Cross to her family.”
All of the victims were in the same fourth-grade classroom when the gunman barricaded himself inside and began shooting at the children and teachers, according to officials. Garza’s stepfather, Angel, told CNN’s Anderson Cooper that classmates said his daughter was trying to call 911 on her cellphone.
She had turned 10 only two weeks before her death.
“How do you look at this girl and just shoot her?” Angel Garza asked. “Oh my baby. How do you shoot my baby?”
According to a post on the Girl Scouts of Southwest Texas’ website, Garza had just completed her Girl Scout bridging ceremony the week before the shooting. Just hours before the attack, she had received an award for making the A and B honor roll at Robb Elementary.
“Amerie was a bright and outgoing fourth-grader who loved Play-Doh, playing with friends at recess — and being a Girl Scout,” the organization said on its website. “She was proud of the badges she earned.”
The Texas Tribune reported that Garza had been kind but sassy, with family describing her as a little diva with a heart of gold who doted on her little brother Zayne.
Long before the shooting, the Texas Tribune reported, Garza had shown bravery. One man at her funeral, who was her cousin, recalled that Garza had protected his 11-year-old daughter from severe bullying.