President Donald Trump has been pictured grinning and holding a thumbs up while posing with a two-month-old baby whose parents were killed in the recent El Paso’s mass shooting.
The infant’s parents, Andre and Jordan Anchondo, were among the 22 victims killed in the supermarket massacre, while the tot suffered broken bones after his mother fell on him to shield the infant from the gunfire.
However, when the baby, called Paul, was brought to Trump at the University Medical Center of El Paso, the republican seemed untouched by the now-orphan’s tragic plight.
The 73-year-old and first lady Melania posed alongside baby Paul for cameras, with the president even adding in a thumbs up for good measure.
The troubling pictures come after Trump has already faced criticism for his behaviour during a visit to the city on Thursday.
Doctors at El Paso’s main hospital said he appeared to ‘lack empathy’ while he was filmed bragging to medical staff dealing with the aftermath of the heinous massacre, about the size of a rally he previously held there.
— Melania Trump (@FLOTUS) August 8, 2019
As reported by the Independent, Trump can be heard on mobile phone footage saying:
Then you had this crazy Beto [O’Rourke, Democrat presidential candidate]. Beto had like 400 people in a parking lot.
The president was also heavily criticised for releasing an extremely polished promotional-style video from his day in El Paso, rather than speaking to the press during his visit. The video also happens to include a lot of thumbs up and smiling with medical staff in the hospital.
Paul was reportedly brought back to the hospital, at the request of the White House, having been discharged days earlier.
However, the two-month-old’s family, though Hispanic, are not among those criticising Trump.
Tito Anchondo, Paul’s uncle and brother of Andre Anchondo, told NPR Radio:
I think people are misconstruing President Trump’s ideas. My brother was very supportive of Trump.
A total of 22 people were killed in the mass shooting which took place a few miles from the US-Mexico border on Saturday, August 3, when the gunman stormed Walmart with an assault-style rifle.
Patrick Wood Crusius was arrested shortly after the shooting and was charged with capital murder. It’s believed he posted an anti-immigration manifesto online shortly before the massacre took place.
The El Paso shooting is the eighth deadliest mass shooting in US history and has been described as the ‘deadliest day in Texas’ history.’
If you have experienced a bereavement and would like to speak with someone in confidence contact Cruse Bereavement Care via their national helpline on 0808 808 1677.
Emma Rosemurgey is an NCTJ trained Journalist who started her career by producing The Royal Rosemurgey newspaper in 2004, which kept her family up to date with the goings on of her sleepy north east village. She graduated from the University of Central Lancashire in Preston and started her career in regional newspapers before joining Tyla (formerly Pretty 52) in 2017, and progressing onto UNILAD in 2019.