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Remembering the young victims of the Uvalde, Texas, school shooting

LEILA FADEL, HOST:

Twenty-one white crosses, one to honor each of those killed in Uvalde, Texas, now stand in front of the elementary school where they lost their lives. Nineteen of the names on those crosses are children who were killed in a fourth-grade classroom.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Erika Escamilla's nieces and nephews survived the shooting at Robb Elementary. She spoke with Texas Public Radio about the children who did not.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

ERIKA ESCAMILLA: I just want to say sorry to the children (crying) because they're innocent, you know?

INSKEEP: We're learning more about the children and teachers who went to school Tuesday and never returned.

FADEL: Eliahna Garcia was 10 years old and the second oldest of five sisters. Her aunt, Siria Arizmendi, said Eliahna loved basketball.

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SIRIA ARIZMENDI: She was very happy and very outgoing, loved to dance and sing and play sports. She was big into family, enjoyed being with the family.

FADEL: On Tuesday night, the family waited for hours at the civic center. Close to midnight, Arizmendi told the Associated Press, they finally learned Eliahna was dead.

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ARIZMENDI: She was - (crying) she was very sweet.

INSKEEP: Uziyah Garcia was killed at the age of 10. His grandfather recalls the last time he saw his grandson, and they tossed a football. He said he was the sweetest little boy he'd ever known.

FADEL: Xavier Javier Lopez was looking forward to the summer. The 10-year-old's older cousin says he wanted to spend it in the pool. She says he was bubbly and loved to dance with his brothers and his mom.

INSKEEP: The morning of the shooting, Amerie Jo Garza received a certificate for making the honor roll. Her stepfather, Angel Garza, spoke with CNN.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

ANGEL GARZA: She was the sweetest little girl who did nothing wrong. (Crying) She listened to her mom and dad. She always brushed her teeth. She was creative. She made things for us. She never got in trouble in school. Like, I just want to know what she did to be a victim (crying).

FADEL: And some families are dealing with multiple losses. Jacklyn Cazares and her second cousin, Annabelle Rodriguez, were both killed. Jacklyn's father, Javier Cazares, says the house feels empty without her.

JAVIER CAZARES: She just was the person that would - she would give the - her shirt off her back, you know, type of person. She would do whatever she can. She would save her little money here and there and, you know, want to buy toys and, you know, give them away and stuff.

FADEL: Jailah Nicole Silguero and her cousin Layla Salazar both died in the shooting, too. Jailah's mother called Jailah her little sidekick in a post on Facebook. And Layla was a runner. Her dad says she won six races at the school's field day. And every morning, on the ride to school, the two of them would sing along to Guns N' Roses' "Sweet Child O' Mine."

INSKEEP: The stories of some of the children killed in a mass shooting on Tuesday in Texas, along with their teachers, Eva Mireles and Irma Garcia. After the shooting, Garcia's husband laid flowers at her cross at the school and then died of a heart attack.

(SOUNDBITE OF TICKLED IVORIES' "SWEET CHILD O' MINE") Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.