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
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
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
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
Sara Esther Regalado, 66, and her husband Adolfo Cerros Hernández, 68, were among the dead. Both were from Mexico – Sara originally from Juarez, and Adolfo from Aguascalientes.
Editor’s Note: There are many other victims in this horrific shooting. We’ll update with more information as we learn more.