Stories of heroism are emerging amongst the horrific reports about the mass shooting at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas over the weekend.
Twenty people were killed and dozens more were injured after a gunman opened fire at the crowded store Saturday morning. The suspected shooter allegedly authored a hate-filled, racist manifesto prior to the attack and has been booked on capital murder charges.
Among the tragic details are also acts of devotion and love in the face of terrible violence.
Husband and wife Andre Anchondo, 24, and Jordan Anchondo, 25 were doing some back-to-school shopping at the Walmart with their 2-month-old son, after they had dropped their 5-year-old daughter at cheerleading practice, CNN reports.
As the gunfire erupted, mother Jordan shielded the couple’s son. At the same time Andre jumped in front of his wife and son to protect them both. Tragically both Jordan and Andre died. Their son is okay.
"The baby still had her blood on him. You watch these things and see these things and you never think this is going to happen to your family," Elizabeth Terry, a relative of the couple, told CNN. "How do parents go school shopping and then die shielding their baby from bullets?"
The couple just celebrated their first wedding anniversary. In all, they had three children.
Juan de Dios Velazquez, 77, was also shot while shielding a loved one — his wife Estela Nicolasa, 65.
“He was arriving at the store when he was shot at close range and the bullet passed through him and hit my aunt Estela,” the man’s niece, Norma Ramos, told Reuters. “Because he protected her, he took shots in his back.”
Velazquez has undergone several surgeries after the bullet punctured internal organs. Estela was also shot, underwent surgery, and is now in stable condition.
The couple had just come to America from Mexico six months ago.
The shooting suspect reportedly spewed angry anti-immigration language in his manifesto. El Paso, on the U.S.-Mexico border, is a majority Latinx community. Investigators are treating the shooting as a case of domestic terrorism.
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