MAJOR NEWS El Paso Victims: Never Forgotten

Madeline Farnsworth, Contributor

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On Saturday August 3, in El Paso, Texas, there was a mass shooting. At 10:39 a.m. local time, there was a 911 call claiming that there was an active shooter. The police were given two locations: at the Walmart and the Cielo Vista Mall right next door. Within minutes, police and FBI were at the Walmart.  Out of the twenty-two shoppers killed and more than two dozen injured, the authority did not find any connection between the victims. The police came out with a statement saying that there was no connections other than they were in the wrong place at the wrong time. The victims ages varied from 35 to 82 and there was multiple races injured.

The tragic massacre in undergoing domestic terrorism investigation. This domestic terrorism attack is increasingly motivated by white supremacist ideology. Patrick Crusius, the shooter, published a manifesto online only twenty minutes before the shooting started. This four pages, hate filled manifesto was mainly focused on anti-immigration. His “writing is filled with white supremacist language and racist hatred aimed at immigrants and Latinos, and the author says he opposes “race mixing” and encourages immigrants to return to their home countries.” Crusius’s manifesto also “railed against automation and embraced an argument familiar in anti-immigrant circles: that immigrants are taking jobs from ‘natives’. ” He also blames politicians from both parties for the heavy Hispanic population in Texas.

In an interview, Saucedo, a daughter who was eating breakfast with her mother in a McDonald’s inside the mall, she said “I called 911 but they never answered because they had so many calls. So, I decided to just start recording. I have faith, I knew that we were going to get back home safe. And I said, ‘I need to see this video, later on.'” On her video that she captured, there was one dead on the floor after Crusius came into the McDonald’s and started shooting. She said that she had faith that she would make it out alive.

Another survivor, Octavio Lizarde was with his 15-year-old nephew, Javier, when the gunman found them. Lizarde told Javier to come to him but when they both realized that the gun was pointed at Javier’s head, there was nothing they could do. Javier was shot and killed. Lizarde survived with only a shot to the foot. He later comments, “It’s hard because he was like my son. I was always there for him when he needed it — and it hurts. Just those images that I saw. I really wish I didn’t see them. I close my eyes. I still see them. I see them open. I see everything. … Everybody knows what he meant to me.” Lazarde said that the gunman wanted everyone dead. “You could see in his face his intentions. … He could have easily killed me but he just shot my foot and took off.” Lizarde said that he watched six other people die in that bank. Although all the fear, grief, and horrible memories that Crusius instilled in him, he was very forgiving. He said “I’m able to forgive him. It’s hard. … I have very good memories with my nephew and I’ll never forget him.”

Another tragic but heroic deaths were of Jordan and Andre Anchondo. They were at Walmart picking up birthday party supplies for their daughter who just turn six. When family tried reaching this young couple, they were unsuccessful. Tito Anchondo, Jordan’s brother, received a call that afternoon asking him to come down to the hospital. Jordan and Andre were two of the twenty-two killed in the mass shooting. At the hospital, the family received shocking but a believable truth. Jordan and Andre had taken their infant son who was only two months old with them to Walmart. For the injuries on Jordan, the hospital told the family that he died protecting his wife and baby. When Jordan was shot, she was still holding her son. She fell onto him, breaking many bones but keeping him alive. Jordan’s aunt made a statement to CNN saying, “The baby still had his mother’s blood on him.”

Another tragic story was of Dave Johnson and his wife. They were shopping for a present for their granddaughter who was with them. The gunman had came as close as two feet away from them when he  pulled the trigger. In his last moments, Dave pushed his wife and granddaughter down and covered them from a hail of bullets. His daughter Stephanie said, “I was so close to losing her but because of him she is still here. I wish he was here so I can tell him how thankful I am.”

This tragic shooting has rocked El Paso, Texas. Many people have lost their lives and others have lost their loved ones. It will take a while for the people of El Paso to be able to move on from this malicious, hateful act. Our thought and prayers are with the people of EL Paso, those who are grieving over their loved ones and those who are terrified to leave their house.

Sources:

https://www.cnn.com/2019/08/05/us/el-paso-suspect-patrick-crusius/index.html

https://abcnews.go.com/US/death-toll-rises-22-el-paso-shooting-victims/story?id=64780680

https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2019/08/05/jordan-anchondo-andre-anchondo-el-paso-shooting-infant/

https://www.cnn.com/2019/08/04/us/el-paso-shooting-victims/index.html

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