SANTA FE, Texas - Friends, families and and the community have begun to say their final goodbyes to five of the 10 victims who were killed in the Santa Fe High School shooting May 18.
There was a viewing today for Shana Fisher and a visitation for Angelique Ramirez.
Loved ones also said goodbye to teacher Cynthia Tisdale, as well as students Christopher Stone and Christian “Riley” Garcia.
Garcia, who was called Riley by family and friends, was hailed as a hero today by his Pastor at Crosby Church.
“He stayed there,” said Keenan Smith. “He defended others. He lost his life in doing so.”
The 15-year-old was remembered for his selfless courage. Garcia blocked the art room door so a shooter, who opened fire inside Santa Fe High School, could not get in.
Garcia lost his life while saving others.
“The eyewitness testimony from the individuals who are alive today because of his actions tell the story,” said Smith.
Garcia was a son, a brother and a friend who had a strong sense of faith and who wanted to enlist in the military someday. He did not have a uniform or a rank, but he died serving others. That sacrifice was recognized today with military honors by students in the Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps at Crosby High.
“If we could just care about each other the way he exhibited that in his life and death, I think this world would be a lot better place,” said Smith.
Garcia was laid to rest in Highlands, Texas, after the funeral service Friday.
People have also been coming out to pay their respects at Santa Fe High School.
One woman said people are coming to grieve and begin the long process of healing.
It's been exactly one week since investigators said a student walked into the school and shot and killed eight students and two teachers.
Several people showed up at Santa Fe High School on Friday morning, hugging one another and giving each other words of comfort as the victims' families begin the heart-wrenching task of laying them to rest.
Visitation will be held Friday for one of the first victims, Shana Fisher, 16.
Her mother said the shy and sweet teen was intentionally gunned down by the shooter for turning down his advances.
A visitation will also be held for Angelique Ramirez, 15, who was described by her pastor as a sweet young lady with a style all her own. He remembers her always having a new hairstyle.
Funerals were scheduled for three of the victims.
Student Chris Stone was be laid to rest on Friday. Stone was also credited with blocking the art classroom door to keep other students safe.
Friends said he was outgoing and really funny and had a lot of friends.
Cynthia Tisdale, a substitute teacher who leaves behind a husband, four children and 11 grandchildren, was also laid to rest.
Tisdale was married for almost 50 years.
Her funeral, which took place on Friday, was on her birthday. She would have turned 64 years old.
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