Things That Matter

These Parents Dropped Off Their Daughter At Cheer Practice To Go Back-To-School Shopping, Now Their Three Kids Are Orphans After The El Paso Shooting

Alleged white supremacist Patrick Crusius drove hours to get to the border town of El Paso, Texas, where he opened fire at a Walmart and killed 22 people. Two of his victims were newlyweds Jordan and Andre Anchondo. The two had just dropped off their daughter, Skylar Grace, off at cheerleading practice and went to Walmart with their two-month-old son, Paul, to buy school supplies. 

Jordan used her body to shield her son, Paul, who was grazed by a bullet, but survived. As his mother’s body fell on top of him, he broke two fingers. 

Jordan’s sister knows that baby Paul “pretty much lived because she gave her life.”

Credit: Andre Anchondo / Facebook

CBS News met with Jordan’s sister, Leta Jamrowski, in the waiting room at the University Medical Center of El Paso. She was waiting for her baby nephew, Paul, to receive treatment for his broken fingers. “From the baby’s injuries, they said that more than likely my sister was trying to shield him,” she told CBS. “So when she got shot she was holding him and she fell on him, so that’s why he broke some of his bones. So he pretty much lived because she gave her life.”

The day after Jordan died, her new husband, Andre, was pronounced dead.

Credit: Tito Anchondo / Facebook

The family had been left in an agonizing wait to find out if Andre would survive–if their three children would be orphaned or not. At 6:33 p.m., Andre’s brother, Tito, wrote on Facebook, “It’s official……he’s gone.”

A survivor of the shooting told Tito that Andre tried to grab the gun away from the shooter.

Credit: Jordan Jamrowski / Facebook

Jordan was holding Paul. The witness said that Andre essentially tried to fight off the shooter, but was met with a hail of bullets.

As Andre’s father mourns the loss of his son, he shared this poster his son made when he was a child, which he keeps on his wall to this day.

Credit: @CBS11Andrea / Twitter

The poster, which Andre’s dad has preserved framed, reads, “A different kind of hero…My dad.” Paul will not make those memories of cooking “delicious food” and seeing his father volunteer at his school. Still, Paul will always know that his papa was “a different kind of hero.” It’s in the family blood, shed far too soon.

The two had just celebrated their one year wedding anniversary three days earlier.

Credit: Andre Anchondo / Facebook

Andre’s Facebook bio reads “Proud husband and Father. July 30 2018 💍💙💗God is my savior. 🇨🇱 born and raised.🏋️‍♂️♋” He had just started his own business, “Andre House of Granite and Stone,” and the day before asked for his friends and family to give his business page a five star rating on Facebook. They didn’t imagine this future for themselves. They didn’t plan to leave three children behind.

Their oldest child, Skylar Rose, is about to turn six years old.

Credit: Jordan Jamrowski / Facebook

You can help their family with funeral expenses and the expenses of three young, traumatized children who have lost all the stability and financial security in their lives by donating to a GoFundMe. Andre’s brother, Tito, shared that he has “been getting so many messages of people wanting to help and i’m writing this post for those that want to help and all the platforms that are available.”

Share the GoFundMe link with your friends and family if you can’t make a contribution yourself. 

 So far, a total of $47,000 has been raised for their three orphaned children.

Credit: @KateBieri / Twitter

The GoFundMe comments alone are heartbreaking: 

“He was a fine man killed by hatred originating from the very top of our country,” reads one comment on GoFundMe.

“My heart is so heavy for all of the victims, and especially for these 3 beautiful children that lost both of their parents in the same day. Rest In Power, Jordan and Andre,” reads another comment.

“Deeply saddened of this tragic event. I’ve known Andre since middle school and he was always the most funniest person, always full of life and love,” reads another comment on GoFundMe. “My dearest condolences to him and his wife, Jordan. May they rest easy as two beautiful angels in the sky watching over their three beautiful children. Prayers for the Anchondo and Jamrowski family.”

You can also donate physical items like diapers, blankets, clothes, and school supplies if you’re local to El Paso.

Credit: @CherneyAmharaTV / Twitter

They will be accepting donations at 120 N. Piedras Mon-Fri 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. No amount of school supplies will repair the tragedy and loss that this family experienced, simply trying to buy school supplies for their kids, but every bit will help.

READ: As El Paso Grieves Their Loss, Here Is Everything We Know About The Victims Of The El Paso Massacre, Which Were Mostly Latino

Kansas City Police Are Looking For Two Men Suspected Of Shooting Patrons Of A Tequila Bar

Things That Matter

Kansas City Police Are Looking For Two Men Suspected Of Shooting Patrons Of A Tequila Bar

Sherae Honeycutt / Facebook

It was a normal Saturday night for Tequila Kansas City Bar (TKC) bartender, Jose Valdez. He was serving new customers and old when a familiar, unwelcome face walked in at 11 p.m. asking for a drink. Valdez refused to serve the man, recalling the issues he’s caused the bar in the past. The man threw a glass at him and he was promptly escorted out. At 1:30 a.m., the same man walked back into the bar with a friend and handguns. Smoke filled the tiny room as they shot people at random.

Four Latino men were killed and five other victims were wounded. TKC is a private, members-only bar that has always been regarded as a “safe space” for the Latino community. Three of the slain were second-generation TKC patrons. Their parents were also members.

TKC usually staffs a security guard, but he didn’t show up that night.

Credit: @OfficialJoelF / Twitter

The owner of Tequila KC Bar told KMBC reporter Matt Evans that the bar scheduled a security guard that night, but “he never showed up.” Kansas City, Kansas Police confirmed that they had arrived on the scene earlier in the night. The suspect had picked a fight with someone as he was being escorted out and the two brawled outside. By the time the police arrived, the fight was over and they left.

Shock and adrenaline allowed the wounded to escape from the bar before the pain set in.

Credit: @ellemoxley / Twitter

Two hours later, the suspect arrived with an accomplice and handguns. Survivors recall hearing at least a dozen gunshots, and could barely see through the gun smoke.

“They went off so quick I didn’t think it was gunshots,” customer Michael Barajas told the Kansas City Star.

The two gunmen are still at large.

Credit: Kansas City Police Department

Police have released security camera images of the suspects, in hopes that anyone who recognizes them will come forward. Police have yet to name the suspects, and police spokesman Officer Thomas Tomasic told The Kansas City Star that he doesn’t believe the shooting was racially motivated. “It’s a pretty small bar,” Tomasic told the paper. “You have two guys come in, start shooting, people are just running. People are just running wherever they can.”

Victim Alfredo Calderon had a 6-year-old son and 4-year-old daughter to raise.

Credit: Alfredo Calderon / Facebook

While police haven’t released the names of any of the victims, some family members are coming forward to remember their deceased. Juan Ramirez told reporters that his 29-year-old nephew, Alfredo Calderon, died in the shooting. “We’re just in shock and disbelief,” Ramirez told The Kansas City Star, adding that his nephew had “nothing to do with it.”

This wasn’t bartender Valdez’s first shooting either. “I don’t know what to make of it,” he told The Kansas City Star, through tears. “A sad day for everybody who lost their lives and their families. How can you go into a place full of people and just start shooting?” He said he hugged his own niños Sunday morning, saying “pray to God I’m here.”

When a witness’s fiancé was shot, she tried to stop the bleeding and “held him till he took his last breath.”

Shay Celedon was at TKC with her best friend and her fiancé, both of whom have yet to be identified. Celedon said the two were waiting until after her niece’s quinceañera to get down to wedding planning hoping to tie the knot in October 2020. The three were enjoying their night until they witnessed the violent fight outside the bar. Celedon got a sinking feeling and decided to go home for fear that “something bad would happen.”

“None of it really seems real right now,” she told CNN. “We were sitting here yesterday evening having drinks with my best friend’s fiancé. I go home, go to bed, get woken up two hours later that he’s deceased, and she held him till he took his last breath, and tried to bring him back and keep pressure on his gunshot wound. And it was just one fatal shot that took him from us.”

Tequila Kansas City Bar “was a home away from home, you could say.”

Credit: Sherae Honeycutt / Facebook

Toni Maciel, 36, knew seven of the nine victims personally. While she returned to TKC the following day to be with her “TKC family” and community, she doesn’t feel safe anymore. Maciel knows the wife of the alleged shooter. During a karaoke night just two days prior, she witnessed him physically abuse his wife. Maciel intervened and asked him to leave. “This was a home away from home, you could say,” she told The Kansas City Star. “But after this, I don’t know what would happen with our community.”

Tequila Kansas City Bar hosted a vigil for the victim Sunday night at 7 p.m.

As we report on this story, the community is gathering around TKC to pay vigil to the deceased. Kansas Governor Laura Kelly released a statement saying she continues “to be frustrated that these mass shootings and killings occur with regular frequency. Our nation has an obligation to address this ongoing public health crisis.”

READ: Some People Claim This Sandy Hook PSA Has Gone “Too Far” In Illustrating the Impact of School Shootings

A New Documentary Exposes The Massacre In Porvenir, Texas That Left 15 Mexican-Americans Dead

Entertainment

A New Documentary Exposes The Massacre In Porvenir, Texas That Left 15 Mexican-Americans Dead

porvenirmovie / Instagram

Porvenir is a Spanish word. If you break it down, por venir literally means to come, and the translation is the future. It’s also the name of what used to be a tiny town in Texas located right next to the Rio Grande on the border. The village of Porvenir in Texas, which is a town no more, had roots that reflect the brutal and deadly colonization that this country was built on. 

“Porvenir, Texas” is a new documentary on PBS that brings to light the massacre that happened on the border more than 100 years ago. 

Credit: porvenirmovie / Instagram

As the tense immigration crisis continues in this country today, the documentary “Porvenir, Texas” shows how this struggle has been part of our history since the inception of the United States of America. 

The story of the massacre cannot be told before discussing the war between the U.S. and Mexico. While the U.S. continued to expand in the southwest through its war with Mexico, the battle to live and remain in the country affected the most vulnerable people who weren’t part of the war at all. They were Mexicans who lived in Texas and along the border before it was ever part of the United States. However, after Mexico lost Texas to the United States, those living in Texas, became Americans overnight. That didn’t please the incoming residents — white people looking to make the country their home. 

The documentary exposes the brutal killing of 15 Mexican men — some who were American as well — which the U.S. tried to hide from history. 

Credit: porvenirmovie / Instagram

With the expansion of the U.S. throughout its new state of Texas, white ranchers staked their claim in areas that were owned by Mexican-Americans. Like gentrification today, Texas was also gentrified during the Wild West, which meant Mexicans, who were now Americans, were displaced because of higher taxes. 

With the revolution still going on in the Mexican border and new white ranchers taking over land, racial tensions were high. White people were told that all Mexicans were “bandits” and Mexican-Americans were in fear for their lives thinking they could be killed based on the color of their skin.

White people were killing Mexican-Americans outright with no consequences, and the film shows graphic images of that. 

Credit: porvenirmovie / Instagram

Here’s a summary of that fateful violent night as reported by NBC News: “In the early morning hours of Jan. 28, 1918, a group of ranchers, Texas Rangers, and U.S. Army cavalry soldiers entered the village and rousted the residents from their beds. They led away 15 unarmed men and boys of Mexican descent to a nearby bluff, where they shot and killed them. These victims ranged in age from 16 to 72, and some were American citizens. The town’s women and children fled across the border to Mexico for safety. The next day, the perpetrators returned and burned the village to the ground. Porvenir ceased to exist.”

We have no idea how many other Mexican-Americans were killed with such brutality during this period because there’s no record of it. The only reason the story of Porvenir can be told today is because of two men that documented what happened. 

Credit: porvenirmovie / Instagram

Harry Warren was a white teacher that worked with some of the community in Porvenir and wrote about what happened that night. He also was a witness to the bodies.  José Tomás (“J.T.”) Canales, who was a state legislator at the time, launched an investigation against the Rangers, and his depositions and testimony have been preserved as well. 

“There were many cases like Porvenir, where the initial response from the state was to try to fabricate what really took place,” Monica Muñoz Martinez, an assistant professor at Brown University and the founding member of the public history project Refusing To Forget, told NBC News. “It was not unusual for the state to try to justify such acts, by criminalizing the victims. Residents of Porvenir were described at times as squatters or bandits. None of this is true.”

Christina Fernandez Shapter produced the film and spoke about the importance of making sure these stories are never forgotten. 

Credit: jefegreenheart / Instagram

“I am Mexican American myself, I am from Texas, my family has been here for generations,” she told NBC News. “And I know we all have stories in our families, sometimes of land being taken from us or other injustices.”

Here’s a clip of the film.

Click here to watch the entire documentary. 

READ: This Exhibition Told The Stories Of Mexicans And Mexican-Americans Who Were Illegally Deported In The ’20s And ’30s