LIVE UPDATES: Uvalde, Texas, elementary college capturing kills 19 youngsters

Eva Mireles, 44, a 17-year preschool teacher, taught fourth graders at Robb Elementary School, according to her aunt Lydia Martinez Delgado, who confirmed her niece was among those killed. Delgado said her nephew Ruben Ruiz is a police officer in the Uvalde school district and is married to Mireles. The couple shared a daughter who recently graduated from college, Delgado said.

Delgado said Mireles was cheerful and active, recalling a time when she got up for a pre-dawn hike during a family reunion with other relatives. “She did everything she could to live a long life, and here it was cut short,” Delgado said in a phone interview early Wednesday.

Audrey Garcia said she will never forget the attention Mireles gave to her now 23-year-old daughter Gabby when she was in third grade.

“My daughter has Down syndrome, and she was one of the first students to be accepted into a regular classroom,” said Garcia, who now lives in San Antonio. “MS. Mireles always went above and beyond. She never saw that Gabby had less potential than the other students.”

On Tuesday, Garcia posted a photo of her daughter and Mireles on Twitter, which she says demonstrates the teacher’s dedication. Garcia said she last heard from Mireles about two years ago after a local TV station made a story about her daughter’s graduation from high school and her new jewelry business. Mireles would often get in touch around Christmas, Garcia said, because Gabby had given her a piece of jewelry.

“She would say that she always thought of Gabby when she put up her Christmas tree,” Garcia said. “After all these years she was still looking after Gabby as a student. I just want everyone to know what kind of person she was and what kind of teacher she was. I don’t want her to be forgotten.”

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