Harry and Meghan surprise family of school shooting victim with ‘lots of tears of joy’

Harry and Meghan have paid a surprise visit to the family of a teacher who was killed in a Texas mass school shooting.

Irma Garcia sacrificed her life as she tried to protect her pupils in a classroom at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, where she had taught for 23 years.

Mrs Garcia’s nephew, 22-year-old John Martinez, has a picture of his “tia” (aunt in Spanish) pinned at the top of his X feed, where he said she “died a hero” and “will truly be missed”.

The teacher’s husband, Joe, died of a heart attack on 27 May 2022, three days after the shooting.

Mr Martinez was in awe when the Duke and Duchess of Sussex turned up at his family’s house in Uvalde, with Meghan bringing a birthday cake for his mother.

Mr Martinez and his family gathered around the Duchess of Sussex who lit candles and appeared to be shy to start singing Happy Birthday, encouraging others to join in, and with her husband in the background.

Capturing the touching moment, Mr Martinez said: “The cake was a surprise for my mom. Meghan and Harry are so so thoughtful and sweet for doing that… I love you Sussex squad.”

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He acknowledged how much “it meant” to the family for the Sussexes’ “continued love and support”.

Speaking to Hello! magazine, Mr Martinez said the royal couple’s visit led to “lots of tears of joy and heartfelt moments”.

“They were the kindest most humble people ever, it was like having family and friends over… we laughed a lot and shared intimate memories together,” he said.

Harry and Meghan visit Garcia family in Uvalde - Pic: JohnMtz @fuhknjo
Harry and Meghan visited the Martinez family in Uvalde. Pic: Joey.mtz/@Joeymtz4

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Harry and Meghan are in contact with the Garcia family about “every other month”, but their visit to the family home “truly felt more special” given their busy lives, Mr Martinez added.

He previously shared footage on X about Meghan calling the family in the immediate aftermath of the shooting in which 18-year-old Salvador Ramos shot dead 19 pupils and two teachers, the other being Eva Mireles.

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