(NewsNation) — The husband of Irma Garcia, one of the two teachers who was killed in Tuesday’s shooting at a Texas elementary school, died after suffering a heart attack, according to the Houston Chronicle.
In his tweet, his nephew, John Martinez, said Joe Garcia died of “grief.”
“I truly am at a loss for words for how we are all feeling,” Martinez said in a tweet reported by the Chronicle. “Please pray for our family, God have mercy on us, this isn’t easy.”
Joe and Irma Garcia were high school sweethearts who were married for 24 years, Ernie Zuniga, of San Antonio news station KABB, reported on Twitter. The couple had four children.
Irma Garcia, a teacher for 23 years, loved to barbecue, listen to music and go on cruises. According to her staff biography, she had been a co-teacher with Eva Mireles, the other teacher who died.
The Washington Post reported that both teachers died together in their fourth-grade classroom. Relatives said Mireles and Garcia died protecting their students.
“They weren’t just her students. Those were her kids, and she put her life on the line, she lost her life to protect them. That’s the type of person she was,” Martinez told the Post earlier this week.
Irma Garcia’s son, Jose, said she “treated her students as her own,” according to The Washington Post.
“They were her lifeblood. She loved engaging with children and teaching them,” he told the newspaper.
There’s a GoFundMe page raising money for the Garcias’ family.
As of Thursday afternoon, it has raised $277,653.