A medic who responded to the Uvalde, Texas school shooting has opened up about how he learned his young daughter had been tragically killed.

10-year-old Amerie Jo Garza was among the 19 students murdered at Robb Elementary School on Tuesday, and her first-responder father Angel Garza was searching for hours before he learned of her death. In an emotional interview with CNN’s Anderson Cooper (above), Garza explained the heart-rending moment he was told Amerie had been shot by the gunman, 18-year-old Salvador Rolando Ramos.

“When I arrived on the scene, they still had kids inside. They started bringing the kids out, and I was aiding assistance. One little girl was just covered in blood head-to-toe. Like, I thought she was injured, I asked her what was wrong and she said she was OK,” Garza told Cooper. “She was hysterical saying they shot her best friend, they killed her best friend, she’s not breathing, and she tried to call the cops. I asked her what’s her name and she said, she told me Amerie, she said Amerie.” 

Garza tearfully stopped for a moment, and described Amerie as “the sweetest little girl who did nothing wrong.” He’s since told his 3-year-old son, who was very close with Amerie, that she’s no longer with them.

“Her birthday was on the 10th,” Garza said. “She just got her phone. She’d been wanting a phone for so long, and we finally got it for her. She just tried to call the police. … I got confirmation from two of the students in her classroom that she was just trying to call the authorities. And I guess he just shot her. How do you look at this girl and shoot her?”

The shooting on Tuesday left 19 children and two teachers at the school dead. The shooter was in the school for an hour before he was killed by responding authorities.