Ellie Garcia, one of the 19 children killed by a teenager at Robb Elementary School in Texas last week, would pray every night out loud and shared the Gospel on social media before she died about a week before her 10th birthday.
Garcia, a 9-year-old victim of Tuesday’s mass shooting at the school in Uvalde, had posted a TikTok video, saying: “Hey, guys. I just wanted to give you a little catch-up. Jesus. He died for us. So when we die, we’ll be up there with Him. In my room, I have three pictures of Him.”
Her father, Steven Garcia, posted the 15-second video on Facebook.
Garcia also shared how his daughter loved to pray. He shared a photo that he took in January of his young daughter laying on her bed with her hands folded in prayer.
“Caught my Ellie Gee in the middle of her talk with our almighty … I love you baby girl and I love the way you pray,” he wrote at the time.
“She prayed every night out loud so we can pray with her,” Garcia added. “I remember this day we had just bought the lamp that is on and she wanted to sleep with it on so she aired up her air mattress gave Us a hug and kiss and went to pray as mom made treats in the kitchen! These memories are all I have left.”
A GoFundMe page for the Garcia family has raised $128,078 of the $50,000 goal as of Monday morning.
“She was born June 4th. This coming week she was going to be turning 10 years old,” it says of Ellie. “Eliahna was such a sweet girl with a lovely and beautiful soul. She would light up everyone’s world with big smiles & big hugs.”
It adds, “She will never be forgotten we will always remember our ramen noodle girl forever! We appreciate all of our family, friends, surrounding communities and everyone across the world for all the love & prayers our family has been receiving.”
The suspect, an 18-year-old Latino male, got into a fourth-grade classroom and killed 19 schoolchildren and two teachers last Tuesday.
The shooter was in the school’s hallways at 11:40 a.m., and he was killed by the agents more than an hour later, at 12:58 p.m. The delay in the agents’ response has led to severe criticism of law enforcement.
The officer in charge on the scene, identified as Uvalde Police Chief Pete Arredondo, believed that the shooter was “a barricaded suspect” who was no longer a threat.
But 911 calls showed that many children were still alive at the time, according to Texas Department of Public Safety Director Steve McCraw.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has assured, “We’re not going to be here talking about it and do nothing about it. We will be looking for the best laws we can get passed to make communities safe.”
In a column for The Christian Post reflecting on the shooting, Greg Laurie, the pastor and founder of the Harvest churches in California, stressed that “this is a time to mourn.”
“The key is to cry out to God Himself,” he wrote. “He will hear your prayer. If you are one of the parents who lost one of these children and is reading this right now, let me say this to you — I am so sorry for your loss.”
He added, “If you have put your faith in Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior you will see your child again. They are not just a part of your past, they are also a part of your future.”