Heroes, Grandparents and Role Models: Remembering the Victims of the El Paso Mass Shooting
It was a busy Saturday at the Walmart in El Paso, Texas, which was filled to capacity during the back-to-school shopping season when it happened again.
At about 10:39 a.m., the normalcy of the day was shattered when a gunman entered and began firing at shoppers. Police arrived six minutes later and the suspect surrendered without incident, but not before at least 22 people were killed and 27 were injured.
Describing the store after the shooting, El Paso Police Chief Greg Allen said, “The scene is a horrific one, unfortunately, because of the nature of the situation.”
But the nightmare of America’s epidemic of mass shootings continued less than 24 hours later. Just after 1 a.m. on Sunday in Dayton, Ohio, a gunman opened fire on a bustling street, killing nine people and injuring 27.
Below is a list of the victims of the El Paso attack. This post will be updated as more information becomes available.
Jordan, 25, and Andre Anchondo, 24
The mother of three who lived in El Paso was killed shielding her 2-month-old son, Paul, from the gunfire, her sister, Leta Jamrowski, told the Associated Press.
“He pretty much lived because she gave her life,” Jamrowski said.
Anchondo and her husband, Andre, were inside the store, purchasing school supplies for their 5-year-old. Elizabeth Terry, Jordan’s aunt, described her niece to NBC as “the epitome of love,” calling her “a selfless mother.”
Relatives reveal Andre Anchondo, Jordan’s husband, died when he tried to shield her from the gunman.
“[Andre] shielded her and she shielded the baby, and that’s how he was able to survive,” Jordan’s father, Paul Jamrowski, said in an interview Monday on the Today show.
According to the Associated Press, Andre had recently started a business in El Paso that built things from granite and stone. He also recently celebrated his first wedding anniversary with Jordan.
“He had the character and the charisma,” Koteiba “Koti” Azzam, Andre’s friend, told the AP.
Victoria Chavez, a friend of the couple, tells PEOPLE, “They were such nice people.”
She adds, “I could tell they truly loved each other.”
David Johnson, 63
His niece says David Johnson also died Saturday shielding his loved ones from bullets: His wife and his 9-year-old granddaughter.
Maria Madera wrote in a social media post that Johnson was a loving father, husband, uncle and grandpa, and hailed his life-saving actions.
“He was surrounded by 3 gun shells. That could have been 1 each for him, my aunt, and my niece,” Madera wrote. “He protected them from that murderer. And worked as a shield. If he hadn’t have been there they wouldn’t have made it.”
Javier Amir Rodriguez, 15
The Clint Independent School District confirmed the death of Javier Rodriguez, who would have started his sophomore year of high school this September.
A GoFundMe campaign has been launched to help cover his funeral costs.
According to a Facebook post from his aunt, Elvira Rodriguez, Javier loved video games and playing soccer. His uncle was shot in the foot trying to protect him from the shooter.
Angie Englisbee, 86
Englisbee was at the check-out line inside Walmart when the shooting began; moments before, she had been speaking to her son on the phone, her granddaughter Kathryn Hallberg tells PEOPLE.
“My grandmother was a strong woman. She raised all of her seven children by herself, often working multiple jobs to support them,” Hallberg says. “She was a woman of faith and is most independent strong caring woman I have ever known.”
During the conversation with her son, Englisbee “said she was happy, laughing and missed him because he went on vacation and they were going to see each other soon,” says Hallberg. “She went shopping to Walmart every Saturday morning.”
Arturo Benavides, 60
PEOPLE learns from a relative that Arturo Benavides was an Army veteran and former bus driver for Sun Metro. An El Paso native, he and his wife, Patricia, never had children of their own, but were foster parents who doted on their many nieces and nephews.
His grand niece, Jacklin Luna, tells PEOPLE Benavides “was extremely caring, loving, and strong-willed.” Luna said he enjoyed recounting his time with the Army, telling stories from his time on the battlefield.
“He loved hearing from us, and knowing that we were all OK,” she said. “He loved being around people and would talk to anyone.”
Elsa Mendoza Marquez, 57
Elsa Mendoza Marquez, a mother of two from Juarez, Mexico, was visiting family in El Paso when she stopped into the Walmart to make a quick purchase, according to this report from Imagen.
The gunfire erupted minutes after she walked into the store, her son, who stayed in the car, told Imagen.
“I bid farewell to my companion, the most marvelous of women, a person full of light who will continue illuminating our way for the rest of our lives,” her husband wrote in a Facebook post. “We are going to miss you, love.”
Campos, 41, lived in El Paso with his wife Maribel Loya, who also died in the shooting. He grew up in San Juan, Texas. “He always tried to make people forget about their bad days,” says his brother, David Campos, 26.
“I can’t believe they became a statistic, says Leo’s childhood friend, Asael “Ace” Alanis.
Loya, 56, was shopping for school supplies for her grandchildren with husband Leo Campos. The couple had just left their dog at the groomer moments before.
Her brother told CBS4 the family knew something was wrong when the groomer called to ask why the dog had not been picked up yet. Another relative tracked their car to the store’s parking lot using GPS. Confirmation from police came Sunday.
Juan Velazquez, 77
Juan Velazquez, 77, was with his wife, Nicholasa, when the shooting began. She, too, was struck by bullets but is expected to live. The grandparents had just parked their car when the gunman approached, relatives told KTSM.
Nicholasa, who is in her 60s, had called a relative after being shot in the face.
“So they had already been shot when my grandma called my mom, and they were just crying telling us that it hurt where they shot them at, it hurt,” granddaughter Daisy Fuentes said. “My mom was just trying to tell her to stay calm, to just breathe, and my grandma just told my mom to call the ambulance because they weren’t coming fast enough.”
Gloria Irma Marquez
According to a GoFundMe page launched by her aunt, Marquez “was a dedicated mother, grandmother and friend.”
She was at the bank inside the Walmart when the shooting broke out. Her husband, John Ogaz, said, “I called her to tell her to move away from the crazy guy, but she never answered.”
Maria Eugenia Legarreta Rothe
A resident of Chihuahua in Mexico, Rothe went to El Paso to pick up her teenage daughter from the airport, according to the Mexican publication Milenio. While waiting for her daughter’s plane, Rothe went into Walmart.
A post on the Facebook page for the Migrant Ministry of the Archdiocese of Chihuahua reads, “Just as you have always been in solidarity with migrants, today our entire team embraces you with the same solidarity.”
Sara Esther Regalado & Adolfo Cerros Hernandez
Regalado and her husband, Adolfo Hernandez, of Ciudad Juárez, Mexico, were among the Mexican nationals who died in the massacre.
Regalado’s daughter, Sandra Ivonne Cerros, left a loving tribute for her parents on her Facebook page, writing in Spanish, “I don’t know how long it will take for my soul to heal. Your deaths leave us with a great vacuum. I’m so grateful I was your daughter. Rest in peace my beloved parents.”
Their granddaughter Vielka Yi also expressed her heartbreak online, writing, “They certainly didn’t deserve this.”
Margie Reckard’s common-law husband, Tony Basco, told News 4 San Antonio that his wife, whom he had been with for 22 years, was “a good wife,” sweet and loving.
Reckard, 67, was shopping in Walmart when she was killed. “I have never had nothing like this and my wife, I know she’s looking down and smiling,” Basco said on Monday.
Ivan Filiberto Manzano
Manzano, a Ciudad Juárez native, was a hard worker and exceptionally devoted to his wife and two children, the Washington Post reports. A colleague described him as an “exemplary father” who was passionate about his sales and marketing career.
“It didn’t matter what the hour was, he was always in his office or in the field, taking care of his projects,” Salvador Jonapa told the paper.
Jorge Calvillo Garcia
A resident of Ciudad Juarez, Garcia was shot while protecting his granddaughters from gunfire. He was standing outside the Walmart helping to raise money for his grandaughter’s soccer team at the time of the massacre.
Maria Flores and Raul Flores
The couple’s son met with reporters following the shooting, telling them he had desperately attempted to reach his parents but had no success. “I can’t contact them on the phone,” he said to KERA News, noting that he hadn’t heard from them since the day before.
Authorities said Hoffman was a German citizen.
Identified by authorities as a Mexican national, Sanchez was visiting the Walmart to shop when she was killed.