Watch Heartbreaking Pictures: Open Casket Funeral Is Held For 15yr Old Heroic Santa Fe School Victim Who Was Shot While Shielding His Classmates From Bullets 

Watch Heartbreaking Pictures: Open Casket Funeral Is Held For 15yr Old Heroic Santa Fe School Victim Who Was Shot While Shielding His Classmates From Bullets 

SANTA FE, Texas

  • Christian Riley Garcia, 15, was one of the ten people gunned down in an art class last Friday at Santa Fe High School in Texas 
  • Family and friends held an open-casket funeral service for Christian on Friday
  • His classmates have said that Christian used his body to barricade a closet door during the shooting, shielding others from bullets
  • Christian was a history buff who dreamed of pursuing a career in the military
  • Another service was held for 63-year-old teacher Cynthia Tisdale, earlier Friday

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] 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.’   

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 securing their weapons and allowing their son access to ammunition, as well as being negligent by entrusting him with weapons.

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. 

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