A two-month-old baby boy has been left orphaned after losing both his parents during the mass shooting in El Paso.
Parents Jordan and Andre Anchondo died while trying to protect baby Paul as the gunman opened fire in an El Paso branch of Walmart on Saturday.
The infant reportedly suffered two fractured fingers during the attack, but is said to be recovering well. It is believed his parents heroic attempts to keep him safe ultimately saved his life.
The couple, who were parents to three children, had been shopping for school supplies at Walmart after dropping their five-year-old daughter off at cheerleading practice.
As reported by CNN, Jordan shielded Paul from the bullets while Andre leapt in front of his wife and child.
The couple had recently celebrated their one year wedding anniversary, and have been described by family members as ‘amazing parents’.
Jordan’s cousin, 21-year-old Monique Terry, told The Guardian:
Her husband was in front of the gunman to protect Jordan, and Jordan was protecting her baby,
That explains who she was as a person – she gave everything for her baby,
Monique told The Guardian the young parents had been a ‘perfect fit’ for each other:
It’s very tough. She was the light of our family,
She brightened up the room. Her laugh was contagious. She always put you in a better mood … She always saw the good in people.
The family reportedly learned of Jordan’s death on the afternoon of Saturday, August 3. They later learned Andre had also passed away inside the Walmart store.
Jordan’s aunt, Elizabeth Terry, told The Guardian the husband and wife had been ‘self-sacrificing in every sense of the word’:
He’s [Paul] alive because of the heroics of both his mother and father,
They are clearly amazing parents – self-sacrificing in every sense of the word … It’s a huge loss to the family and a huge loss to the world.
Elizabeth explained the family is now making sure to give Jordan and Andre’s three young children ‘a lot of hugs, a lot of kisses, a lot of holding them tight’.
At least 20 people died and 26 people were injured during the mass shooting in El Paso.
The shooter has been identified by police as Patrick Crusius, with the shooting being investigated by authorities as an act of domestic terrorism.
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.
Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.