Remembering the Victims of the Tragic El Paso Shooting
Lupe Lopez carries a photo of Elsa Mendoza Marquez, a Mexican schoolteacher from across the border in Ciudad Juarez who was killed in the shooting, which left at least 20 people dead, on August 4, 2019 in El Paso, Texas. Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images
Over the weekend, we witnessed back-to-back shootings – two more in a long line of mass shootings. Once again, these tragic events have prompted conversations about gun control laws, while some politicians say it’s not the time to politicize. But it’s impossible not to politicize when gunmen are motivated by animus. On Saturday, Patrick Crusius opened fire at a Walmart in El Paso. He killed 20 and injured dozens more. Before the shooting, he published a manifesto, which stated that there was a “Hispanic invasion of Texas.”
But as his Crusius is scrutinized and his motives analyzed, it’s important and necessary that we talk about the people whose lives he cut short. Below, learn more about them and their hopes and dreams.
Jordan and Andre Anchondo
This is Jordan & Andre Anchondo.
They just celebrated their 1 yr wedding anniversary and have 3 kids. They went to Walmart in #ElPaso for school supplies after dropping a daughter off at cheerleading practice. Jordan died shielding their 2 month-old baby boy. #ElPasoShootingpic.twitter.com/mM2JI3uKyp
Jordan and Andre Anchondo recently celebrated their one-year wedding anniversary. The parents of three were at Walmart with their 2-month-old baby. A family member called Jordan “so funny” and said he laugh was contagious. “I know everyone says that, but hers was really contagious,” Monique Terry said. “And she was so beautiful and just so smart. This is a really big loss.”
Army veteran and bus driver Arturo Benavides died in the shooting. His relative, Jacklin Luna, described him as an “absolutely caring and strong-willed man.” He loved his family, dog and upside-down pineapple cake.
“If anyone ever needed anything, he was the first one there: If we needed a ride, a shirt or a meal, he was always the first person to offer anything he had,” Luna said. “Whenever we all went out to eat, he would pay the whole bill, he didn’t want anyone to spend a dime.” Every week, Arturo Benavides would phone everyone in the family to see how they were doing, Luna said. He wanted to know: How are your grades in school? How is work, did you get that promotion?”
Elsa Mendoza Marquez was a 57-year-old elementary school teacher. She lived in Mexico and crossed the border on Saturday to go to Walmart. Her relatives didn’t enter the store with her.
“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 said in a Facebook posting, according to The Los Angeles Times. “We are going to miss you, love.”
Javier Amir Rodriguez
Javier Amir Rodriguez was 15. He was a soccer player. His family searched for him after the shooting. On Sunday afternoon, officials told them he had died. His aunt Elvira wrote on Facebook: I just don’t get why ? I know I’ll never have answers…We love you so much baby!!!! pic.twitter.com/jdVgd6ujLO
15-year-old high schooler and soccer player Javier Amir Rodriguez was also killed. His family couldn’t find him at reunification centers, but eventually his aunt updated Facebook and said that he had died. “I just don’t get why?” she wrote. “I know I’ll never have answers. I’m so confused, hurt, mad!!!!!”
Sara Esther Regalado and Adolfo Cerros Hernández
*ACTUALIZACIÓN: Familiares han confirmado que ambas personas lamentablemente fallecieron a causa del tiroteo ocurrido el…