UVALDE, Texas — The family of Maite Rodriguez is sharing more about the 10-year-old Robb Elementary School student nearly a week after she died in the mass shooting that has rocked Uvalde.
Her older cousin, Destiny Esquivel, spoke with KENS 5 at a Uvalde park, where a memorial for the 21 victims continues to grow.
Esquivel used many words to describe her younger cousin. The two girls were very close and loved to pose for pictures together.
“She was giving, charismatic, brave, courageous and intelligent. She is and will always be my beautiful little angel,” she said.
When she found out about the shooting, Esquivel said, her heart broke. Still, the 16-year-old finds peace in knowing Maite’s last moments were of her helping others.
“I know in that moment she was brave. She was telling people where to hide,” she said.
Esquivel said her cousin had dreams of attending Texas A&M Corpus Christi to study marine biology. Maite loved learning about animals, especially whales, dolphins and dogs. The school has set up a scholarship in her honor.
“She was a perfect little girl," Maite's cousin said. "She also loved anime, that's why I’m wearing Attack on Titans. I’m also wearing her favorite color, green. She wore green Converse that day."
The teen said she doesn’t understand how someone could shoot the little girl. She called on Gov. Greg Abbott and President Joe Biden to take action "so no other parents has to go through this."
“I hope the governor and the president, (that) they learn because they wouldn’t want it to happen to their kids, so why would you let it happen to others?”
Maite’s viewing was on Monday at a funeral home in Uvalde. Her cousin said the little girl looked beautiful in her casket.
“She looks amazing, she has the pretty white dress. We couldn’t touch her though. We could only touch her hands," Esquivel said. "I know she is looking down on us and smiling. I just wish she was here."
The family is holding a second visitation service on Tuesday before her funeral in the evening. Maite will be the second victim of the Robb Elementary shooting to be laid to rest.
A GoFundMe has been set up for the family of Maite Rodriguez. You can view it here.