The family of a boy who survived a shooting in a Texas Walmart and lost both his parents, hosted a parade on Saturday to celebrate not only the baby’s first birthday but also his survival.
Paul Gilbert Anchondo was just two months old when his parents died shielding him from a shooter in an El Paso, Texas, Walmart.
The boy, dressed in a royal blue outfit fit for a prince, including a crown with his name on it and a cape, waved to those that passed by.
“We want him to remember that everybody here in the El Paso area and our community is supporting him, that he’s not by himself,” the baby’s grandfather, Gilbert Anchondo, told KVIA.
In the wake of the tragedy, the community came together to celebrate the first birthday of the youngest survivor. As the boys’ family organized the parade, word got out, and more and more people wanted to participate.
Joshua Hernandez, a motorcyclist who participated in the parade, said that baby Paul is a “symbol of the goodness that came out of it because he brought everyone even more so together.”
“Unfortunately, his parents aren’t going to be here to celebrate his birthday with him, so we’re going to step up and make sure he has a great first year birthday,” said Eduardo Prieto, another motorcyclist who participated in the parade told KVIA.
On August 3, 2019, a gunman walked into the Cielo Vista Walmart and killed 23 people. The baby’s father, Andre Anchondo, was shot and killed when he jumped in front of the gunman to protect his family, and his mother, Jordan Anchondo, was shot and killed while shielding baby Paul.
The gunman, Patrick Crusius, remains in custody and has been indicted on 90 federal charges, including hate crimes.