By MORGAN LEE and AMY GUTHRIE, Associated Press
In the border town of El Paso, Texas, a shooter opened fire and left 20 people dead and more than two dozen injured. Hours later in Dayton, Ohio, a shooter killed 9 people and injured at least 27 others.
Here are some of their stories:
JORDAN ANCHONDO: ‘GAVE HER LIFE’ FOR HER BABY
Jordan Anchondo was among those killed in El Paso, Anchondo’s sister said, and she apparently died while protecting her 2-month-old son from the hail of bullets.
Leta Jamrowski of El Paso spoke to The Associated Press as she paced a waiting room at the University Medical Center of El Paso, where her 2-month-old nephew was being treated for broken bones—the result of his mother’s fall.
“From the baby’s injuries, they said that more than likely my sister was trying to shield him,” she 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, a mother of three, and Andre Anchondo had dropped off her 5-year old daughter at cheerleading practice before going to shop for school supplies on Saturday at a Walmart in El Paso. They never returned.
ANDRE ANCHONDO: HAD TURNED HIS LIFE AROUND
Andre Anchondo —the husband of Jordan Anchondo, who was also killed in El Paso— had recently turned his life around after struggles with drug dependence and run-ins with the law, a friend recalled.
On Sunday night, John Jamrowski, the grandfather of Jordan Anchondo, said in a text message that his family has been notified of the death of Andre Anchondo.
The death of Jordan Anchondo was confirmed in the hours after the attack, but the family agonized as investigators waited to confirm more than a dozen other deaths.
Koteiba “Koti” Azzam, a friend of Andre Anchondo, had fond memories of him.
“I love the guy,” Azzam said in a phone interview from San Marcos, Texas, where he attends Texas State University. “He had the character and the charisma.”
Azzam said Andre Anchondo had started a business in El Paso, building things from granite and stone, and made it successful through hard work. He also was on the verge of completing a home for his family.
“It makes you question your faith almost,” said Azzam, who is Muslim. “But God didn’t have a part in it. The hands of man altered my friend’s life in a drastic way.”
NICHOLAS CUMER: HAD HELPED CANCER PATIENTS
A graduate student at a university in Pennsylvania who was interning with a facility in Dayton for people battling cancer was among those killed in the Ohio city early Sunday.
Nicholas Cumer was a graduate student in the master of cancer care program at Saint Francis University.
“Nicholas was dedicated to caring for others,” university President Malachi Van Tassell said in a statement. The university, in Loretto, Pennsylvania, is the oldest Franciscan institution of higher learning in the United States.
The family released the following statement through a relative: “We are heartbroken by the loss of our Nicholas in this senseless act on August 4. As our family grieves, we ask for privacy at this time. Thank you.”
Cumer had been in Dayton as part of his internship program with the Maple Tree Cancer Alliance, which strives to improve the quality of life for individuals battling cancer through exercise, nutrition, and faith.
Maple Tree Cancer Alliance offered Cumer a full-time position just days before he was killed, the organization said on its website. It described Cumer as hard-working, dedicated and one week away from completing his internship.
“He was well liked and respected by everyone on our team, and we all will miss him very much,” the organization said.
Van Tassell said a Mass in Cumer’s memory will be arranged on campus this week.
LOIS OGLESBY: A NURSING STUDENT WHO WANTED TO CARE FOR CHILDREN
Lois Oglesby, 27, was in nursing school and looked forward to a career that would make the most of her love for children, her cousin said. She was also the mother of a newborn and had an older daughter.
Derasha Merrett told the Dayton Daily News that she was up feeding her own newborn when a friend called her at 3 a.m. Sunday to tell her, through sobs, that Oglesby had died in the Dayton shooting.
“She was a wonderful mother, a wonderful person,” Merrett said. “I have cried so much, I can’t cry anymore.”
Merrett said she and her cousin grew up in the same church, were on the same drill team and that Oglesby worked at her children’s day care center.
“We all grew up in this little town, Merrett said. “We’re all family.”
JESSICA COCA GARCÍA and MEMO GARCÍA: FUNDRAISING FOR KIDS’ SPORTS TEAM
Jessica Coca García and Memo García were at the Walmart in El Paso to raise funds for a youth sports team one of their children played on when a gunman opened fire, wounding them, a relative said.
Norma Coca told Wichita, Kansas-television station KWCH that her daughter and son-in-law were near the front doors of the Walmart when they were shot.
Coca, who lives in Salina, Kansas, said her daughter, Jessica Coca García, was shot three times in the leg. She said 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 García’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 and were not shot.
MARIO DE ALBA: A WOUNDED FATHER
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. On the shelves behind her are the words FAMILY and PEACE in bold letters.
MEXICAN GOVERNMENT IDENTIFIES FIVE CITIZENS KILLED IN EL PASO
Mexico’s Foreign Ministry identified five citizens who were killed in the shooting Saturday in a shopping complex in El Paso. The ministry did not provide ages for them. They are:
- Sara Esther Regalado of Cuidad Juárez
- Adolfo Cerros Hernández of Aguascalientes
- Jorge Calvillo García of Torreón
- Elsa Mendoza de la Mora of Yepomera
- Gloria Irma Márquez of Juárez
Lee reported from El Paso. Guthrie reported from Mexico City. AP reporters Jamie Stengle in Dallas, Andrew Selsky in Salem, Oregon, Lisa Cornwell in Cincinnati, Ohio, and Becky Bohrer in Juneau, Alaska, contributed to this report.