Friends and family gathered to celebrate the life of a heroic student who shielded his classmates from gunfire during last week’s shooting at Santa Fe High School.
Christian Riley Garcia, 15, was one of the ten people gunned down in an art class on the morning of May 18.
His classmates have said that Christian used his body to barricade against a closet door in the classroom to prevent the shooter from getting inside.
An open-casket funeral service was held on Friday in Crosby, Texas, in remembrance of the 15-year-old who had displayed bravery ‘far beyond his years’ during the tragic massacre just one week prior.
Christian Riley Garcia, 15, was one of the ten people gunned down at Santa Fe High School last Friday. His classmates say Christian heroically shielded them from the bullets
An open-casket funeral service was held at the church Christian grew up attending on Friday
Christian’s friends and family gathered to honor and celebrate the brave 15-year-old’s life
Christian, who has been described by loved ones as remarkably selfless and brave beyond his years, was a history buff who had aspired to pursue a career in the military
‘[Christian] grabbed me and my teacher and got us into the closet,’ Christian’s best friend Courtney Marshall, 15, told ABC News.
‘[The gunman] just shot into the closet. I saw my teacher just die in front of me and I just saw my best friend die in front of me.’
‘Christian saved my life – he’s a hero.’
Christian, a history buff who had dreamed of pursuing a military career, had grown up attending Crosby Church in the Houston suburb of Crosby where the service was held.
‘The sacrifice of his own life, others were allowed to escape and had some time to get away,’ Pastor Keenan Smith said of the teen’s bravery.
‘We know there were several lives lost but his story is a story of true heroism. He gave himself so others would have a chance.’
Christian’s classmates have said that the teen used his body to barricade a closet door in the art room during last weeks massacre to prevent the shooter from getting inside
Crosby Church was filled with tearful mourners saying their goodbyes to the teen on Friday
Christians football jersey was displayed at the front of the church alongside several photos
Pallbearers carried Christian’s casket out of the church following the touching funeral service
A service for another one of the victims, 63-year-old Cynthia Tisdale, was held earlier on Friday.
The beloved substitute teacher had been married to her husband for nearly 50 years and had four children and 11 grandchildren.
Her service was held in League City, not far from Santa Fe southeast of Houston.
Pagourtzis has been charged with capital murder for the shooting that killed Christian and Tisdale along with eight others: teacher Ann Perkins, 64, and students Sabika Sheikh, Chris Stone, Kim Vaughan, Angelique Ramirez, Aaron Kyle McLeod, Christian Garcia, Jared Black and Shana Fisher.
The parents of 17-year-old Chris Stone filed a lawsuit against the gunman’s parents on Friday based on claims that Pagourtzis used a gun owned by his father.
Christopher Stone and Rosie Yanas have charged Pagourtzis’ parents with not properly secure their weapons and allowing their son access to ammunition, as well as being negligent by entrusting him with weapons.
Another service was held in honor of 63-year-old victim Cynthia Tisdale earlier on Friday in League City, Texas. Tisdale was one of the two teachers killed in the shooting
Tisdale is survived by her husband of 46 years as well as four children and 11 grandchildren
They also claim that Pagourtzis’ parents didn’t obtain mental health counseling for their son or warn the public about his ‘dangerous propensities’.
On Thursday Texas Governor Greg Abbott met with survivors who recounted horrifying stories of dodging bullets, hiding from the attacker and seeing classmates get shot.
They pleaded with Abbott to push for gun reform, specifically mentioning a need for higher security on school campuses as well as background checks for potential purchasers.
The three-hour discussion was organized by March For Our Lives, the student-led group that formed following the Parkland shooting in February.
The Republican governor appeared receptive to reform ideas, but the staunch Second Amendment supporter is not expected to push for major changes in legislation.
Texas Gov Gregg Abbott, left, met with student survivors on Thursday to hear their horrifying stories of dodging bullets, hiding from the attacker and seeing classmates get shot
The students including Grace Johnson, above, pleaded with Abbott to push for gun reform in the wake of the shooting that left 10 people dead on May 18 in Santa Fe, Texas