Hundreds have banded together to celebrate the first birthday of Paul Gilbert Anchondo, the little boy who survived a shooting at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas on August 3, 2019.
As per CNN, Paul’s parents died shielding him from the attacker, leaving him orphaned and alone. This weekend the toddler turned 1, with hundreds of residents in his community organizing a parade to mark the occasion.
Paul’s grandfather, Gilbert Anchondo, said the intention was to remind the 1-year-old that “he’s not by himself”.
“We want him to remember that everybody here in the El Paso area and our community is supporting him,” he said.
Misti Jamrowski, Paul’s grandmother on his mom’s side, told CNN that her son-in-law had died protecting his wife and baby.
“The shooter had aimed at Jordan (Paul’s mother). And Andre (Paul’s dad) jumped in front of Jordan. And the shooter shot Andre, and the bullets went through Andre and hit Jordan,” Misti said.
Friends and family put together the idea of a parade to celebrate the toddler turning one. As soon as his community caught wind of it, they wanted to help at large.
Patrick Crusius, the suspect in the El Paso shooting that claimed 23 lives, remains in custody. He’s been indicted on 90 federal charges, including hate crimes.
This gesture brought tears to my eyes. Thank you for showing your support for little Paul, and for proving that evil will never win.
Paul might be too young to remember the parade in years to come, but there can be no doubt he’ll take heart from knowing his community held him close to their hearts.
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