Updated on Aug. 7 at 2 p.m. CST
Community members gathered for a vigil in El Paso on Monday night to honor the youngest victim of the mass shooting at a Walmart store on Saturday.
Javier Amir Rodriguez, 15, was supposed to be starting his sophomore year of high school. Instead, his friends and family gathered on the Horizon High School football field to honor his memory.
“Javier did not deserve to be taken away from his parents. Javier did not deserve to be taken away from his family,” Juan Martinez, superintendent of Clint ISD, told the crowd. “Javier did not deserve to be taken away from his friends. Javier did not deserve to be taken away from his school. And Javier did not deserve to be taken away from all of us.”
Several friends described Javier as an energetic soccer fanatic, who loved cracking jokes. Sean Cerceres, 18, said it’s hard to fully process that his friend is no longer here.
“He was too young, he said. “You know, he was a sophomore in high school, still had two more years to go.”
Javier’s parents and sister released one white dove in his honor, followed by 21 more, for the other victims killed when a gunman went on a shooting rampage.
El Paso officials announced Tuesday they are opening a community center for residents to receive counseling, travel assistance and financial support. Fire Chief Mario D’Agostino said anyone who is grieving and needs help is welcome.
Texas officials said Sunday they will seek the death penalty against the 21-year-old suspect, Patrick Crusius of Allen, a suburb of Dallas. At a news conference, the U.S. attorney for the Western District of Texas, John Bash, said officials are treating the shooting as a domestic terrorism case and could pursue federal hate crime charges.
In a white nationalist rant posted online and attributed to the suspect, the attack was called a “response to the Hispanic invasion of Texas.” The Walmart that was targeted was frequented by Mexican nationals who crossed over into the border town to shop.
El Paso police released the names of the victims Monday. Authorities said 13 were American, seven were Mexican, one was German and one victim’s nationality was undetermined. Mexican officials said there were eight Mexican nationals killed, however, and there were other discrepancies between names and ages on the U.S. and Mexican lists.
Several of the wounded victims remained hospitalized Tuesday, including at least one who was in critical condition.
Here’s what we know about the victims.
Andre Pablo Anchondo, 23, and Jordan Anchondo, 24
Jordan and Andre Pablo Anchondo were raising three kids – Jordan’s two daughters and a 2-month-old baby named Paul. They were killed while shopping for school supplies on what was supposed to be “an average Saturday,” according to Jordan Anchondo’s aunt, Elizabeth Terry.
Andre Anchondo jumped in front of the gunman, and Jordan Anchondo was killed while she was shielding their newborn son, according to Terry. The baby was treated for bruises and broken fingers but survived.
The couple had reportedly dropped off their 5-year old daughter at cheerleading practice before going to the Walmart.
UPDATE: Andre Anchondo’s sister Deborah just told us he is dead. https://t.co/5QyrihE8Vd— Kate Bieri (@KateBieri) August 4, 2019
NPR’s David Greene met Andre’s older brother, Tito, at an auto body shop a couple miles from downtown El Paso on Tuesday.
“My brother always looked up to me, but one thing that he never knew was that I looked up to him,” Anchondo told Greene. “He was an entrepreneur. He was smarter at math than me. Actually, when he was in middle school, he would get candies in bulk from over here down the street and then he would go to a school and he would flip the candies and sell them for double. So he was always a business guy.”
Anchondo said his brother started a business doing granite work.
“He was a great, great brother, a great son and a great husband. Jordan, as well, was a great wife. She helped him, you know, stay strong,” he said. “My brother had problems at one point in his life and he was, you know, going through some really dark times. But they both got out of the light together. That’s why I like talking about him a lot, because he meant so much to me I tried to be like him, even if he didn’t know that.”
Arturo Benavidez, 60
Family members announced on social media Sunday that Arturo Benavidez was among those killed.
The Dallas Morning News reports that he was in a self-checkout lane when he was shot. His wife, Patricia, made it out.
His great-niece Jacklin Luna told The Washington Post that Patricia is inconsolable. She said he was her soulmate and that they had been married more than 30 years.
Leonard Cipeda Campos, 41, and Maribel Hernandez, 56
Leo Campos and his wife, Maribel Hernandez, were both killed in the Walmart.
He graduated from Pharr-San Juan-Alamo High School in 1996, where he was a goalie for the soccer team and a kicker for the football team. His teammates remembered him as a funny guy and a great athlete.
PSJA School Board President Jesse Zambrano said the school community was sad to learn he was a victim in the mass shooting.
“Leo was well liked and a role model to many athletes that looked up to him, including me,” he said in a statement. “We ask for the entire PSJA community to join us in prayer. Rest in peace, hermano.”
The brother of Maribel Hernandez told KFOX14 that the couple went to Walmart after dropping off their dog at a groomer.
“They knew something was wrong when the groomer called and said the couple had not picked up their dog,” according to the station.
Maria Flores, 77, and Raul Flores, 77
Raul and Maria Flores retired in El Paso two decades ago after raising their family in Southern California, according to The Washington Post. The couple met in the Mexican city of Ciudad Juárez and had been married for 60 years.
On the day of the shooting, they were at Walmart purchasing airbeds for visiting relatives, the Post reported.
“They didn’t deserve to go this way, but for me, I take comfort in knowing that they went together,” Raul Flores Jr., the couple’s oldest son, told the newspaper.
Jorge Calvillo Garcia, 61
Jorge Calvillo García, who is from Torreón, Mexico, was in El Paso to visit his son, Luis, and his granddaughter, Emily. They were raising money with Emily’s soccer team outside Walmart, according to KFOX14.
Jorge Calvillo was struck with bullets as he shielded the girls, his nephew, Raul Ortega, told the station.
Adolfo Cerros Hernandez, 68 and Sara Esther Regalado, 66
The couple’s daughter, Sandra Ivonne Cerros, confirmed that her parents, who are Mexican, were killed in the attack.
“It will be a long process. The funeral arrangements are pending. We are devastated. These have been very difficult hours. Now we are united and living our pain,” she wrote in Spanish. “We thank you infinitely for your prayers, your support and your worries, calls and messages. They have been great company during this time.”
A granddaughter, Vielka Yu, posted on Facebook. “I don’t know if there is a heaven or not, but if there is, I hope you’re as comfortable and happy as you were here,” she wrote, sharing a photo of the couple holding a Mexican strawberries and cream dessert.
Alexander Gerhard Hoffman, 66
Alexander Gerhard Hoffman was a German citizen. A spokesman for the German Embassy declined to provide additional details to NPR, citing “protection of data privacy.”
David Alvah Johnson, 63
Maria Mia Madera posted on Facebook that her uncle, David Johnson, was one of those killed Saturday. She said he died while protecting his wife and their 9-year-old granddaughter.
Luis Alfonzo Juarez, 90
Juarez and his wife of more than 70 years were shopping for groceries together when they encountered the shooter.
Juarez was the oldest victim in the Saturday attack. His wife has since been released from the hospital, according to KTSM.
“The family described Juarez as an amazing human being, loving, calm, and big-hearted,” according to the El Paso-based station. “They say they are utterly heartbroken.”
Maria Eugenia Legarrega Rothe, 58
NPR’s Carrie Kahn reports that Maria Eugenia Legarrerga Rothe was on her way to pick up her daughter at the El Paso Airport, and according to local press reports, she decided to run into the Walmart first.
Legarreta was from a well-known business family from the northwestern Mexican state of Chihuahua.
Elsa Libera Marquez, 57
Elsa Mendoza Marquez was visiting family in El Paso. NPR’s Kahn says she left her husband and son waiting in the car while she dashed into Walmart. Mendoza is being remembered on social media as a dedicated elementary school teacher from Ciudad Juarez.
“I say goodbye to my partner, the most wonderful of all women, a being full of light that will keep illuminating our walk for as long as life has so arranged,” wrote Marquez’s husband, Antonio de la Mora, a professor at the Autonomous University of Ciudad Juárez.
In a tweet, Mexico’s Secretary of Public Education Esteban Moctezuma Barragán said Mexico’s education community is “mourning the irreparable loss” of Marquez.
Ivan Hilierto Manzano, 46
Manzano, from Ciudad Juárez, Mexico, is being remembered as a devoted husband and father who worked in marketing and sales and was an avid marathon runner.
He was on his way out of Walmart after paying for items when he came across the shooter, according to Jesus Cruz, a childhood friend of Manzano.
Manzano leaves behind two young children, Cruz said.
Gloria Irma Marquez, 61
Gloria Irma Marquez’s death was announced in a tweet by Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard.
The family of Marquez, who is from Ciudad Juárez, Mexico, says she was a dedicated mother and grandmother, according to Brianna Klein, her niece.
Marquez was a schoolteacher and mother of four. Her niece Joselin Martínez remembered her as a loving aunt, writing that she will be remembered as a “cheerful person” with a “big smile.”
“Until we get to meet again, we love you very much and we miss you a lot,” Martínez wrote.
Margie Reckard, 63
Reckard was “an angel” to Antonio Basco, her husband of more than two decades, he told KFOX-TV, telling the station that the couple’s plans had always been to “live together and die together.”
He said his wife’s selflessness was incomparable.
“I mean you didn’t even have to be there to talk to her. You could just look at how she was, how she acted, how she presented herself. She was an awesome lady,” he said. “You see Margie, more or less, was the brains of the family.”
Dino Reckard, Reckard’s son, said in a Facebook post that his mom “will be truly missed by all those that knew and loved her.”
Javier Amir Rodriguez, 15
Javier Rodriguez, 15, was a freshman at Horizon High School.
We are deeply saddened to learn of the loss of one of our students. Our heartfelt condolences and prayers are with his parents and family.— Clint ISD (@ClintISD) August 5, 2019
School counselors are available to support and comfort our students and staff.#WEARECLINTISD #WEAREELPASOSTRONG
His aunt, Elvira Rodriguez, told the Arizona Republic, he loved to play soccer and did well in school. “He was such a loving boy,” she said.
Teresa Sanchez, 82
Sanchez was visiting from Mexico when she was killed.
Angelina Silva-Elisbee, 86
Englisbee, who was known as Angie, was a mother of seven and “a woman of grit, hardwork, perseverance, dedication to family, and her faith in God,” her grandson Jacob Hallberg said in a Facebook comment.
Englisbee was widowed early in life, leaving her to raise seven children alone, Hallberg said.
“Working numerous jobs at the same time to feed her family, life was hard,” he said.
A devout Catholic and an avid fan of golf, football and basketball, she also had a family reputation of making “the very best” red beans and rice and red chili posole, Hallberg wrote.
Hallberg said at “the lowest point” in his life, Englisbee welcomed him into her home “with open arms and no judgement.”
“I will never forget everything she did for me and my family. Especially the example she set for strength and perseverance,” he said.
She always had a meal and a pot of fresh coffee for her visitors, Hallberg wrote.
“Her over 20 grandchildren and great grandchildren and 7 children are all grieving and lives forever changed by this violent and senseless act of cowardice,” Hallberg said.
Juan Velazquez, 77
Standing outside the Del Sol Medical Center, Alvaro Mena confirmed one of the fatalities announced Monday was his stepfather, Juan Velazquez. He and his wife – Mena’s mother, Nicholasa – were shot in the parking lot. Mena says his mother’s prognosis is good.
Mena said his family had convinced the couple to move to El Paso several years ago.
“They lived in Juarez and we were concerned,” he said. “We were like [with] the violence and everything – just move to El Paso. It’s safer. It was the safest city in USA.”
Or it was one of the safest, he said – until Saturday.
Jessica Coca Garcia and Memo Garcia were at the Walmart to raise money for a youth sports team one of their children played on when the gunman opened fire, wounding them, a relative says.
Norma Coca told Wichita, Kansas-television station KWCH that her daughter and son-in-law were near the front doors of the store when they were shot.
Coca, who lives in Salina, Kan., said her daughter, Jessica Coca Garcia, was shot three times in the leg. She says her son-in-law, Memo Garcia, was shot twice in the leg and once in the back. She said her daughter was in stable condition and her son-in-law was in critical condition.
Jessica Coca Garcia’s father, Don Coca, said they have family in the El Paso area who were able to be with the couple. Don Coca says: “She was just crying … I told her that our prayers are there and we’re on our way.”
The couple’s 5-year-old son and 11-year-old daughter were also at the Walmart, but were not shot.
Maribel Latin and her daughter were outside the Walmart, raising money for their youth soccer league, when Maribel was hit. She was taken to the hospital, where she is recovering.
Her husband, Daniel, spoke briefly at a vigil Sunday night.
“It’s something overwhelming. I’m so thankful to have so many people behind us,” he said.
Mario de Alba, 45, had come to El Paso with his family from Mexico to go shopping.
Described by his sister Cristina de Alba as an “excellent father” and as a “decent, hardworking person,” he was in serious condition Sunday after being shot in the back, the bullet exiting via his diaphragm.
His wife, Olivia Mariscal, and 10-year-old daughter Erika both appear to be recovering after also being wounded, de Alba said from the El Paso hospital where her brother is being treated.
The family lives in Chihuahua, Mexico – a four-hour drive south of El Paso – and was buying school supplies in the Texas city. El Paso is a popular shopping destination for people who live in northern Mexico.
Mario de Alba’s Facebook page shows him as a devoted father to Erika.
In one picture, taken in a living room, Erika cups her hand in the shape of a heart in front of an entertainment center. 0n the shelves behind her are the words FAMILY and PEACE in bold letters.
Octavio Ramiro Lizarde recalled hearing gunshots ring out as he stood in line waiting to open a bank account inside the Walmart. He said he and his 15-year-old nephew, Javier Rodriguez, tried to hide in a manager’s back office.
“The shooter came, I guess he heard us. He shot him,” Ramiro Lizarde said at a news conference, referring to his nephew, who died. Ramiro Lizarde was being treated at Del Sol Medical Center for a gunshot wound to the foot.
This post has been updated.
Material from The Associated Press was used in this report.
Reynaldo Leanos Jr. of Texas Public Radio contributed to this report.