WASHINGTON (AFP, REUTERS) - The husband of a heroic fourth grade teacher who was killed protecting her students during a massacre at a Texas elementary school has died of an apparent heart attack.
Mr Joe Garcia was preparing for the funeral of Mrs Irma Garcia, his high school sweetheart and wife of 24 years, when he collapsed and died on Thursday (May 26), the New York Times reported.
A GoFundMe page set up by Ms Debra Austin, who said she was the cousin of Mrs Garcia, said that Mr Garcia "has tragically passed away this morning (5/26/2022) as a result of a medical emergency."
"I truly believe Joe died of a broken heart and losing the love of his life," she added.
Mr John Martinez, who identified himself as Mr Garcia's nephew, also tweeted: "EXTREMELY heartbreaking and come with deep sorrow to say that my Tia (aunt) Irma's husband Joe Garcia has passed away due to grief."
Mr Martinez told NBC his uncle died after returning home from delivering flowers to a memorial for his wife.
Mr Ernie Zuniga, a news anchor for local station KABB Fox San Antonio, tweeted that Mr Garcia had died from a heart attack.
The couple, who were married for 24 years, according to the website of the Robb Elementary school, leave behind four children.
Both Ms Irma Garcia and her co-teacher Eva Mireles, who had connected classrooms, died in the mass shooting.
The shooter, 18-year-old Salvador Ramos, was inside the building for about 40 minutes before police entered and fatally shot him.