Paul Gilbert Anchondo lost both of parents when a large shooting took place in El Paso, Texas on August 3 last year. He was just two months old, and had only survived because his parents heroically gave their lives to protect their son.
Paul’s extended family, along with hundred of others from the community who shares the tragic memory, got together to organize a large parade for Paul’s first birthday. KVIA reports that many showed up to the streets of El Paso this weekend to celebrate Paul’s birthday.
Gilbert, Paul’s grandfather, said he wanted his grandson to understand that he is not alone. Gilbert said that Paul not only has his family to support him, but also the entire El Paso community and townsfolk who are together with them.
The remaining family members and eyewitnesses recall how Paul’s parents – Andre and Jordan – literally gave their lives to protect their young son.
Paul’s maternal grandmother told CNN soon after the shooting that the culprit aimed his gun at her daughter Jordan. At that moment, Andre jumped in front of the shooter to protect his wife and son and Jordan shielded her son by holding him tight to her body.
The shooter went on to shoot Andre, and some bullets penetrated through him and landed on Jordan as well. Luckily, Paul was not injured. One participant thus said Paul is a physical embodiment of love and goodness that can be witnessed at the worst and tragic of times.
The idea to have the community gather together was initially brought up by Paul’s relatives, but participant said that they were willing to join when they heard of the news.
One cyclist who showed up to the parade said that they community wanted to make sure that Paul did not feel too greatly the absence of his parents. He added that everyone present wanted to make sure that Paul’s first birthday was a great one full of love.
The suspect of the violent shooting is Patrick Crusius. The shooting had claimed the lives of 23 innocents, and CNN reports that Crusius has been indicted with 90 different charges for his heinous actions.
The news of solidarity and warmth amidst a pandemic where it is so easy to be scared of those around us is a heartwarming and beautiful story. Join us in wishing Paul a happy birthday, and share this story with your friends!
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