Eva Mireles was in her fourth-grade classroom when a gunman entered Robb Middle School in Uvalde, Texas. For more than an hour, the shooter was in the school building. By the time police officers confronted him and shot him dead, he had killed 19 students and 2 teachers, including Mireles.
While the school was under attack, Mireles called her husband, Ruben Ruiz. He was a school district police officer stationed outside the building, part of an ever-growing group of first responders.
From opposite sides of the school’s wall, Mireles and Ruiz had the last conversation they’d ever have.
“She’s in the classroom and he’s outside. It’s terrifying,” Uvalde County Judge Bill Mitchell told reporters after being briefed by sheriff’s deputies who were at the shooting, the New York Times reports.
While the phone call reflects a tender moment between a husband and wife, it also holds an additional significance. While authorities have said that the commanding officer believed that the gunman was barricaded in an empty classroom, the phone call between Mireles and Ruiz seems to suggest that at least one of the officers on the scene may have known that the gunman was in a room with students.
This information comes a day after a video of an emergency dispatch seemed to tell officers that children were calling 911 from inside the room.
It’s unclear how long Mireles and Ruiz spoke, but Mitchell told reporters that the teacher apparently described the scene to her husband.
“I don’t know what was said,” Mitchell told reporters, before saying that the general topic was that the gunman was already on the attack. “He’s outside hearing his wife: ‘I’m dying,'” Mitchell said, noting that he didn’t know her exact words.
While authorities piece together the significance of Mireles’ final phone call, those close to her are still mourning her murder.
“Her smile and personality never went unnoticed as when she was around,” her family wrote in an online obituary. “It was never a dull moment. She was an outstanding wife, mom, daughter, sister, friend, and educator. Eva will forever live on in our hearts and memories.”