District reacts to Pharr elementary teacher killed at school

Pharr police continue their investigation into a murder-suicide that happened in an elementary school parking lot.

PSJA Superintendent Dr. Daniel King said this is a difficult time for the district and school officials are taking extra steps to help faculty and students in dealing with such a tragic loss.

"Obviously, traumatic for the people that knew her very well and were close to her. I think the fact that some of them-she had just been talking to them earlier that evening-you don't expect that to happen,"said Dr. King.

Monday evening, Elvita Balli was allegedly shot and killed by her ex-boyfriend Ricardo Soto shortly after she had participated in open house event at Dr. William Long Elementary. Pharr police and Justice of the Peace Rosa Trevino believe Soto pulled up in a Silver Jeep and parked next to the first grade teacher. They say he got into her car shot her five to six times before turning the 45 caliber handgun on himself. A fellow teacher found the couple in Balli's red Cadillac.

"Unfortunately, children as well as adults often learn the hard lessons of life very early and that bad things do happen, that we are mortal," explained Dr. King.

Wednesday, an additional eight grief counselors remained on-campus to help students through the mourning process.

The superintendent told Action 4 News that Balli was been with the district for about a decade-most of it was spent teaching at Dr. Long Elementary.

Dr. King said she Balli be greatly missed.

"Very good teacher. She was the lead teacher for the grade level- very respected by her colleagues for both her professional expertise and also as a person," he said.

Dr. King added that several school faculty members and students have mentioned the possibility of putting together a memorial in loving memory of Elvita Balli.