While El Paso Was A Devastating Moment In U.S. History, These People Stood Up To Save Anyone They Could
The El Paso mass shooting has wrecked the El Paso and Latino-American community at large. It feels impossible to comprehend so much hate for our culture, our people. Yet, in the face of deadly hate, a few people put their lives on the line to protect friends, family, and strangers. Most of these people risked their lives to save others. Many of them sacrificed their lives. All of them are heroes who deserve to be honored in life and in death. Here are some of the biggest heroes from the El Paso shooting that deserve the media attention.
1. Jordan Anchondo gave her life using her body as a shield from her 2-month old baby, Paul. Only the baby survived.
Jordan and Andre Anchondo had celebrated their one year wedding anniversary three days before they went to Walmart to buy school supplies for their five-year-old daughter. Experts believe that Jordan used her body as a shield to protect her baby, Paul. Paul was grazed by a bullet but survived. Only his two fingers were broken, likely from the fall of his mother’s body on top of him. Jordan died in the ultimate sacrifice for her child.
2. A witness said they saw Andre Anchondo, RIP, try to grab the gun from the shooter.
While his wife was shielding their two-month-old baby, Andre was seen lunging at the shooter in an obvious attempt to stop him. His bravery may have cost him his life, but we’ll never know how many lives were saved by those few moments the shooter was distracted.
3. Jorge Calvillo García died shielding his granddaughter, Emily, from bullets.
Jorge’s nephew, Raul Ortega, told KFOX14 that Jorge and Emily were raising funds for a soccer team that Jorge coaches outside of the Walmart. According to Foreign Secretary Marcelo Ebrard, Jorge was visiting his son Luis Calvillo (also pictured), who was also shot and injured and is from Torreón, Mexico.
4. Off-duty Army soldier Glendon Oakley saw children running without their parents and grabbed as many kids as he could and ran out of the store.
Apparently, Oakley was in the Foot Locker next door to Walmart when a kid ran in and told everyone there was a shooter. At first, he didn’t believe him, but after hearing gunshots, he left the safety of the Foot Locker to see how he could help. He saw kids running around without their parents and ran into the Walmart to carry as many kids as he could out to safety.
5. David Johnson, 63, died while shielding his wife and 9-year-old granddaughter inside the Walmart.
His daughter, Krystal Alvord, started a GoFundMe for the funeral costs. She commemorates his heroism in the post saying, “my amazing father pushed my niece and mother out of the way of fire, taking the possible bullets meant for them. He was the best husband, father, grandfather, and friend.”
6. Chris Grant, 50, threw bottles at the gunman to distract him. That’s when the gunman started shooting at him.
Grant told CNN, “I heard gunshots and I knew what it was so I ran towards my mother to try to shield her. I saw him popping people off. To deter him, I just started throwing bottles at him,” he told CNN from his hospital bed. “One went right towards him and that’s when he saw me. I ducked, and he just boop-boop-boop-boop started firing off rounds at me. I was like, ‘Oh my God, this guy is shooting at me.”
Grant was shot twice near his rib cage, but he says those aren’t the injuries that hurt most. He told CNN the part that hurts most is remembering the gunman slaughtering people as they prayed in Spanish. Grant distracted the gunmen and somehow survived a hail of bullets.
7. Walmart employee Gilbert Serna helped at least 150 people escape through an emergency exit.
Serna had been working at the Cielo Vista Walmart for almost 19 years when he heard a panicked voice on his radio say, “Code brown, run quick.” Serna yelled, “Follow me!” and led about 100 customers and employees out a fire exit and had them get into four shipping containers. Instead of getting inside himself, he ran out the side of the building to the parking lot and led the girl’s soccer team that was outside fundraising and another 50 or 60 people into the nearby Sam’s Club.
8. Eleven-year-old, Ruben Martinez, came up with the #ElPasoCHALLENGE, meant to uplift his community.
It’s no secret. We’re all feeling fear like we’ve never felt before. It’s all too easy to fall into a depression spiral. After the shooting, Ruben went to his room to brainstorm a way to lift up his community. He came up with the #ElPasoChallenge, which challenges every El Pasoan to perform 20 acts of kindness in honor of each of the then-20 victims of terrorism. This is how we don’t let the terrorists win.