One of the 20 victims of Saturday’s mass shooting in Texas was a young mother who died protecting her baby son, her distraught sister says.
Jordan Anchondo was at the Walmart in El Paso shopping for back-to-school supplies on Saturday afternoon (local time) when 21-year-old
Patrick Crusius is accused of opening fire at the shopping centre.
Ms Anchondo’s sister, Leta Jamrowski, 19, learned the devastating news of her sister’s death later that day.
Ms Jamrowski spoke to The Associated Press from a waiting room at the University Medical Centre of El Paso, where her two-month-old nephew Paul was being treated for broken bones – the result of his mother’s fall.
“From the baby’s injuries, they said that more than likely my sister was trying to shield him,” Ms Jamrowski said.
“When she got shot, she was holding him and she fell on him, so that’s why he broke some of his bones.
“He pretty much lived because she gave her life.”
Ms Anchondo was the mother of three children.
Ms Jamrowski spent the night desperately awaiting word of whether her brother-in-law, Andre Anchondo, had survived the attack.
“They said that if he were alive, more than likely he would have gotten in contact by now,” she said.
On Monday (local time), CNN reported that Mr Anchondo was also among the victims of Saturday’s shooting rampage. His death leaves two-month-old Paul and his two older sisters as orphans.
Crusius has been charged with capital murder following the shootings, in which 26 people were also injured. Police have said they will seek the death penalty for the attack, which is being called a hate crime.
Shortly after the shooting, it emerged that Crusius had posted a racist rant online praising the Christchurch massacre and white supremacy.
El Paso, a city of about 680,000 residents, is in West Texas. It is just across the border from Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, and has a large Hispanic population.
Six Mexicans were among the 20 killed on Saturday. Mexico’s attorney-general has described the massacre as “terrorism”, warning the country might take legal action that could include requesting Crusius’ extradition.
“For Mexico, this individual is a terrorist,” Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard said, urging the United States to deliver a clear and forceful position against hate crimes.
Mr Ebrard said his ministry would request information from the US on how the shooter acquired the weapon he used, and whether US officials were aware of the purchase.