The 22 people slain in a mass shooting in the Texas border city of El Paso on Saturday included citizens of the U.S., Mexico and Germany. Among the victims were an Army veteran shopping with his wife, a young couple protecting their 2-month-old son and a 15-year-old high school student.
Authorities released a full list of the victims Monday. Their names are Andre Pablo Anchondo, 23; Jordan Anchondo, 24; Arturo Benavides, 60; Leonard Cipeda Campos, 41; Maria Flores, 77; Raul Flores, 77; Jorge Calvillo Garcia, 61; Adolfo Cerros Hernandez, 68; Alexander Gerhard Hoffman, 66; David Alvah Johnson, 63; Luis Alfonzo Juarez, 90; Maria Eugenia Legarrega Rothe, 58; Elsa Mendoza Marquez, 57; Maribel Loya, 56; Ivan Hilierto Manzano, 46; Margie Reckard, 63; Sarah Esther Regaldo Moriel, 66; Javier Rodriguez, 15; Teresa Sanchez, 82; Angelina Englisbee, 86; Juan Velazquez, 77; and Gloria Irma Marquez, 61.
Here are some of their stories.
Every Sunday, Arturo Benavides and his wife, Patricia, went to Walmart after church to do their weekly shopping. But on Saturday morning, Benavides woke up, drank his morning coffee and announced he wanted to go to Walmart a day early.
Benavides, 60, a U.S. Army veteran who retired a few years ago as a bus driver for El Paso’s Sun Metro, was at the checkout when the gunman entered. Patricia, who was sitting at a nearby bench, was pushed into a handicapped bathroom for safety, said their niece, Jacklin Luna.
“It is with heavy hearts that we mourn the loss of our loved one Arturo Benavides,” the family said on a memorial posted Sunday on GoFundMe. “He was an amazing husband, son, brother, godfather and uncle.”
Luna, 23, said she shared a particularly close relationship with her uncle, who was also her godfather. He and her aunt didn’t have children.
“I was practically their child,” she said. “I spent my childhood waking up at their house, sitting out on the front porch with him on Sunday mornings, listening to the oldies on the radio.
“He was kind, generous, always willing to give everyone the shirt off his back,” she added. “People would look forward to riding on his bus. Regulars would only ride with him. That says a lot.”
Standing outside the house on a muggy, hot Sunday afternoon as family and neighbors streamed in to provide food and emotional support, his nephew, Ruben Rojas, said Benavides was “easygoing” and a good Catholic who went to Mass at St. Pius X and enjoyed watching sports.
“All of them — basketball, baseball, football, soccer — you name it.”
Benavides, he said, had a strong proclivity toward the Dallas Cowboys.
“He was born and raised in El Paso,” Rojas said with a laugh.
Another nephew, Jimmy Cervantes, who runs a body mechanic shop in El Paso, said he spent time with Benavides two or three times a week on work trips to Ft. Bliss, a U.S. Army post on the outskirts of the city. His uncle always reveled in the opportunity to be back on base.
“He was a cheerful guy, always telling stories about his war days,” Cervantes said. “The same stories every time. That used to be his battalion. He loved being out there and chitchatting with people. He would start talking with everyone.”
Andre and Jordan Anchondo
Just days after celebrating their one-year wedding anniversary, Andre and Jordan Anchondo were shopping for school supplies when the gunman entered the store. The couple had their 2-month-old son, Paul, with them.
Jordan’s sister, Leta Jamrowski, 19, told the Associated Press that her nephew was being treated for broken bones at an El Paso hospital after his mother fell on top of him when she was shot.
“From the baby’s injuries, they said that more than likely my sister was trying to shield him,” Jamrowski said. “So when she got shot, she was holding him and she fell on him, so that’s why he broke some of his bones. So he pretty much lived because she gave her life.”
Andre, who described himself as a “proud husband and father” on Facebook and posted a photo of Jordan with her arm around their son, had recently set up his own home remodeling firm, Andre House of Granite and Stone.
In addition to Paul, Jordan had had two daughters, Skylin and Victoria.
Initially, family members hoped Andre had survived. After appealing to the public for news and asking people to “pray for him and our family and pray for that evil man who was sick in his mind,” his brother Tito Anchondo wrote a short update Sunday night on Facebook:
“It’s official……he’s gone.”
Javier Amir Rodriguez
A 15-year-old high school student and avid soccer player, Javier Amir Rodriguez was among the deceased, his aunt, Elvira Rodriguez, said Sunday on Facebook.
After Elvira Rodriguez and her family could not find him at reunification centers in El Paso on Saturday, she appealed on social media for help.
Early Sunday afternoon, officials informed them that he had died.
“Thank you to everybody who helped us search for my nephew,” Elvira Rodriguez said on Facebook. “We found him.
“I just don’t get why ? I know I’ll never have answers. I’m so confused, hurt, mad!!!!!
“May you Rest In Peace baby boy!!!
“We love you so much baby!!!!!”
Javier Rodriguez played with Express Futbol Club, an El Paso soccer club for boys and girls. On Sunday afternoon, the soccer club announced that it would organize a charity game to help the Rodriguez family, as well as the families of soccer coaches who were also victims.
In a statement, Jaime Carrasco, the president and founder of the club, said that Javier joined when he was just 8 or 9 years old.
“I remember Javi like it was yesterday… he was a happy boy, always smiling and funny. He was a boy that every coach would like to have on his team. He never missed a practice or a game. He was always the first one on the field and also last one. He just enjoyed playing the sport.”
Elsa Mendoza Marquez
A 57-year-old elementary school teacher from Juarez, Mexico, Elsa Mendoza Marquez crossed the border on Saturday and entered the Walmart while family members remained outside the store, according to social media and media accounts.
“I bid farewell to my companion, the most marvelous of women, a person full of light who will continue illuminating our way for the rest of our lives,” her husband said in a Facebook posting. “We are going to miss you, love.”
Accompanying the post was a photo of the couple smiling into the camera, a glass of red wine in the foreground.
Marquez was the mother of two adult children.
Juan de Dios Velazquez
Juan and Nicolasa Estela Velazquez had just parked outside the Walmart where they usually get their groceries when they were approached by the shooter, their granddaughter Daisy Fuentes told KTSM, an El Paso TV station.
Velazquez moved, using his body to protect his wife, family members told Mexican media, but they were both shot and critically wounded while sitting in the car.
“I’ve been told that, when he realized that the man was going to attack them, my uncle moved in front of her, to protect her,” Velazquez’s niece Norma Ramos told the daily La Jornada.
Fuentes said Nicolasa Velazquez called a relative after being shot.
“They had already been shot when my grandma called my mom, and they were just crying telling us that it hurt where they shot them at,” Fuentes said. “My mom was just trying to tell her to stay calm, to just breathe.”
Juan Velazquez was originally from Sombrerete, Zacatecas, and lived in Juarez before he moved to the U.S., and his wife was originally from Chihuahua, news outlet Zacatecas En Imagen reported.
The couple was transported to a medical center but Juan Velazquez’s organs failed and the 77-year-old died Monday after two surgeries, according to a GoFundMe donation page set up for the family. Nicolasa, who sustained a shot to the left side of her stomach, was in recovery Tuesday.
In addition to his wife, Juan Velazquez is survived by six children and about 15 grandchildren, according to KTSM.
Leslie Antuna Garcia, another granddaughter, said in a Facebook post that the shooting wasn’t right.
“We need change in this country, my grandparents were just going to Walmart and never returned back,” Garcia wrote.
When Juan Velazquez later died, she wrote “we were just a few hours away abuelito, you didn’t deserve this at all it isn’t fair but Rest In Peace and you are now resting we love you.”
Sixty-three-year-old Margie Reckard’s kindness was immeasurable, her husband, Tony Basco, told KFOX-TV. Their life together was like a fairy tale.
“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 to KFOX-TV. “You see Margie, more or less, was the brains of the family.”
Reckard’s son, Dean Reckard, said on Facebook he was raising money for food and lodgings to travel to El Paso and lay his mother to rest.
“She will be truly missed by all those that knew and loved her,” he wrote.
San Antonio In-Home Health Care said in a statement on Facebook that Reckard was one of their own, and that “She will always be loved and missed.”
Basco placed a cross for Reckard at a memorial for victims, and told Reuters, he feels lost.
“But my wife, she’d say get up off your rear end and grow up. Because now I’ve got to take care of the bills, take care of the cat.”
Adolfo Cerros Hernandez and Sara Esther Regalado
Adolfo Cerros Hernandez, 68, and his wife, Sara Esther Regalado, 66, lived in Juarez.
Their daughter Sandra Ivonna Cerros and granddaughter Vielka Yu believed they had been shopping at the Walmart in El Paso when the shooting took place. In a Facebook post, they asked if anyone in either city had any information about the couple.
Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard confirmed in a tweet Sunday that Hernandez and Regalado were among those who were killed.
Regalado was a Juarez native while Hernandez was born in Aguascalientes, Mexico.
“With deep pain in our hearts, we inform you that our dear parents . . . died in the tragic shooting,” Cerros wrote on Facebook in Spanish on Sunday afternoon.
Their family was devastated, she wrote, and asked for space as they processed their loss.
“I don’t know how long it will take for my soul to heal,” Cerros wrote in another post.
Yu later posted a photo of her grandparents holding up cold drinks in a relaxed toast while sitting at a table outside on a sunny day.
“I don’t know if heaven exists, but if it does, I hope you are as comfortable and happy as you are here,” she wrote.
David Johnson, 63, thought of his wife and 9-year-old granddaughter in his final moments, his relatives say.
After hearing gunshots as they waited in the Walmart checkout line, he turned to his wife and granddaughter to tell them to run to safety. In the next moment, he was gunned down, Johnson’s nephew Dominic Patridge wrote on Facebook.
The woman and the girl fell to the ground and lay still as the shooter walked by, Johnson’s body giving them cover, according to the Arizona Republic.
“As many know, my amazing father pushed my niece and mother out of the way of fire, taking the possible bullets meant for them,” Krystal Alvord wrote on a GoFundMe donation page she set up. “He was the best husband, father, grandfather, and friend.”
Johnson’s voice was always warm and welcoming, and he smiled with his eyes, Patridge wrote in a caption on Facebook, alongside photos of Johnson with friends and family. One shows Johnson in a pool, playfully tossing a child in the air. Another shows him lighting a candle on an ice cream dessert for a young girl’s birthday.
"[His] memory will forever be honored as a true hero,” Patridge wrote.
Leonardo Campos and Maribel Hernandez
Maribel Hernandez, 56, and Leo Campos, 41, dropped off their dog at a grooming center and then went shopping. Their family figured out something was wrong when the groomer called to say they had not picked up the dog, Hernandez’s brother Al Hernandez told KFOX-TV.
A family member tracked their car’s GPS to the Walmart parking lot, and authorities later confirmed they had died in the attack.
Campos had a big heart, his friend Asael Alanis wrote on Facebook.
Campos was a graduate of the Pharr-San Juan-Alamo Independent School District in McAllen, Texas, where he was remembered for playing soccer and football and learning Mexican folkloric dancing.
“Leo Campos was a great athlete and friend to many during his time at PSJA High. He was a goalie for the soccer team and a kicker for the football team. Leo was well liked and a role model to many athletes that looked up to him, including me,” Jesse Zambrano, board president of the school district, said in a statement.
Campo’s former soccer coach, Jorge Ortiz, wrote that he had been his best goalie in 1993. “He was also a heck of a folkloric dancer with great elasticity; even the cheerleaders were amazed with his splits on top of two chairs,” Ortiz wrote. “We will miss you Leo! May you continue playing soccer in heaven!”
Jorge Calvillo Garcia
Jorge Calvillo Garcia, 61, went to Walmart that Saturday to raise money for his granddaughter’s soccer team. He died shielding his granddaughter from gunfire, Calvillo’s nephew Raul Ortega told KFOX14.
He had recently visited family in La Laguna, in the Mexican state of Durango, for a wedding and returned to El Paso a few days before the shooting, according to Vanguardia.
Calvillo’s son, Luis Calvillo, a coach for the soccer team, was shot and seriously injured, according to KFOX14.
Mexico’s foreign minister, Marcelo Ebrard, identified Jorge Calvillo among several other Mexican nationals who died in the shooting. Calvillo was from Torreón in the Mexican state of Coahuila, Ebrard tweeted.
“The events in El Paso, Texas, mark a day of pain and mourning for Mexico and Coahuila, for the death of seven Mexicans. In particular, we regret the death of our countryman Jorge Calvillo García, my deepest condolences to their families,” Coahuila Governor Miguel Riquelme tweeted.
Gloria Irma Márquez
Gloria Irma Márquez, 61, is remembered as a protective and dedicated mother to her four children.
Marquez was identified by Mexico’s foreign minister as a Mexican national from Ciudad Juarez. She was a recent immigrant to El Paso and lived with her partner of 11 years, John Ogaz, a U.S. citizen born in El Paso, according to the Washington Post.
Marquez’s niece Brianna Klein started a GoFundMe page to raise money for Marquez’s four children.
“Gloria was a dedicated mother, grandmother and friend. With all of the emotional pain and stress that a death brings, it also brings financial burdens,” Brianna Klein wrote.
María Eugenia Legarreta Rothe
María Eugenia Legarreta Rothe, 58, traveled to El Paso from Chihuahua in Mexico to pick up her daughter from the airport, and stopped at Walmart to buy some supplies, according to El Diario, a Spanish-language newspaper in El Paso.
Legarreta’s sister, Martha Legarreta, a Chihuahua artist, asked for help finding her sister on social media when she was unable to get in contact with her, according to Milenio. Officials later confirmed Legarreta Rothe had been among those killed in the shooting.
The family is known in Chihuahua for businesses in the restaurant and livestock industry, according to Milenio.
Iván Filiberto Manzano
Iván Filiberto Manzano, 46, was a caring friend and a man devoted to his children, relatives said.
He had visited the Walmart to pick up a package when the gunman opened fire, according to KVEO. He worked in marketing, with Mexican radio station chain Megaradio for four years, before leaving to start his own venture, Grupo IVER Marketing, last year.
Manzano’s mother, Josefina Manzano, told El Diario that he was the pillar of the family — someone she could always rely on.
“I saw him care for his children, for his wife,” she told El Diario in Spanish. “We could depend on him emotionally and spiritually.”
Times staff writers Jarvie reported from Atlanta, Montero from El Paso and Hussain from Los Angeles. Special correspondent Ingrid Giese in El Paso contributed to this report.