A 25-year-old mother out buying school supplies at an El Paso Walmart on Saturday was one of the many victims killed when a shooter opened fire into a crowd of innocent shoppers. She died shielding her 2-month-old baby.
Jordan Anchondo, a mother of three, fell on her infant son after a gunman sprayed bullets at her. Jordan’s sister, Leta Jamrowski, told the Associated Press that doctors informed her that going by the baby’s injuries, it appeared as if Jordan was trying to protect her baby.
‘”From the baby’s injuries, they said that more than likely my sister was trying to shield him,” 19-year-old 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.”
Jordan’s husband, Andre Anchondo, who also helped shield the baby, was among the slain victims. The couple had just dropped their 6-year-old off at cheerleading practice before going to Walmart.
The father had reportedly just started a granite and stone business and was in the process of building a new home for his family.
Meanwhile, U.S. Army soldier Glendon Oakley, who survived the shooting, said he focused on children after he heard gunshots. His quick thinking ending up saving many children’s lives.
“What I did was exactly what I was supposed to do. I understand it was heroic and I’m looked at as a hero for it, but that wasn’t the reason for me,” Oakley said on Sunday.
Oakley, 22, was shopping at the Cielo Vista Mall beside the Walmart when he started grabbing as many children.
“I did that because that’s what I was trained to do. That is what the military has taught me to do,” Oakley said on Sunday, according to ABC News. “But I really want you guys to focus on the people that are actually grieving through this. Yes, I’m grieving, but I’m not the one that lost a family member. Yes, it feels like I have lost one. But they are the ones that need to be the [focus].”
Oakley refused to describe the scene he saw Saturday but added that he didn’t get any sleep afterward, and that “this was the worst thing I’ve ever been through in my life.”
According to Army Times, Oakley is stationed at Fort Bliss and is an automated logistical specialist assigned to the 504th Composite Supply Company.
As CrimeOnline previously reported, 21-year-old Patrick Crusius has been arrested and charged with capital murder in connection with a Saturday morning mass shooting at the Walmart off of Hawkins and Gateway East boulevards. Twenty people were killed when the suspect allegedly started shooting at innocent victims. Officials said many others are in area hospitals, in critical condition.
Authorities said during a Sunday press conference that the case is being treated as domestic terrorism and they’ll be seeking the death penalty. El Paso Police Chief Greg Allen added that Crusius readily admitted to the shootings after being detained.
“He was forthcoming with information. He basically didn’t hold anything back,” Allen said.
Two law enforcement officials told ABC News that the suspect admitted to investigators “he wanted to shoot as many Mexicans as possible.”
The outlet reports that the Walmart where the shootings took place is in an area where Mexican tourists frequently visit. Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador indicated that three Mexican nationals were killed during the massacre.
Vanessa Saenz, who spotted the alleged shooter, told FOX News that the man was holding a dark rifle while pointing and shooting at people.
Saenz, who had her 1-year-old son with her, said the suspect was wearing a black shirt, cargo pants, and had ear muffs on his ears. Saenz said she saw a woman in the Walmart parking lot fall down after the suspect apparently shot her. She said she also heard a string of popping sounds and spotted a man who looked like he was dancing.
“He was just pointing at people and just shooting straight at them,” Saenz said. “I saw three to four [people] fall to the ground.”
Saenz also added that she saw the suspect casually stroll into the Walmart, “nonchalant as if he was on a mission.”
“On a day that would have been normal for someone to leisurely go shopping turned into one of the most deadly days in the history of Texas. Lives were taken who should still be with us today,” Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said during a conference.
“We as a state unite in support of these victims and their family members.”
The story continues to develop. Check back with CrimeOnline as additional details become available.
[Feature Photo: Anchondo, Twitter/Glen Oakley, Facebook]