Thirty-one people were killed and 51 were injured in two separate mass shootings that occurred this weekend within 13 hours of each other in a Walmart in El Paso, Texas, and on a street in the entertainment district in Dayton, Ohio.
The suspect in the massacre in Texas surrendered to police, but reportedly has shown “no remorse” for the attack, while the man believed to be behind the killings in Ohio was taken down by police less than a minute after opening fire.
Young parents, a dedicated civil servant, several Mexican citizens and a loving octogenarian were among the dead in what were the 250th and 251st mass shootings to occur in the U.S. in 2019, according to data from the nonprofit Gun Violence Archive, which defines a mass shooting as any incident where at least four people are shot, excluding the shooter.
More information about those who lost their lives Saturday and Sunday can be found below.
The Walmart in El Paso was crowded with shoppers stocking up on back-to-school supplies when Patrick Crusius allegedly opened fire shortly after 10:30 a.m. local time Saturday. The attack is being investigated as an act of domestic terrorism and a possible hate crime.
At least eight Mexican citizens were reportedly among the 22 killed in the store, according to Mexico’s foreign minister Marcelo Ebrard, who on Monday called the attack "an act of terror, obviously on U.S. territory, but against Mexican citizens."
Among those Mexican citizens killed were Sara Esther Regalado and Gloria Irma Márquez from Ciudad Juárez, in the Mexican state of Chihuahua, which borders Texas and New Mexico; Ivan Filiberto Manzano, also from Ciudad Juárez; Elsa Mendoza de la Mora of Yepomera, in Chihuahua; Adolfo Cerros Hernández of Aguascalientes, in central Mexico; and Jorge Calvillo García of Torreón, in the Mexican state of Coahuila, which also borders Texas.
Jordan and Andre Anchondo were shopping for school supplies when they were shot dead.
Andre, 23, and Jordan, 24, died shielding their infant son, Paul, from the bullets spraying the unsuspecting crowd. Paul survived the shooting, but was grazed by a bullet and suffered two broken fingers, likely when his mother’s body fell on him, Jordan’s cousin Monique Terry said.
“Her husband was in front of the gunman to protect Jordan, and Jordan was protecting her baby,” Terry told the Guardian. “That explains who she was as a person — she gave everything for her baby.”
The couple had two other children; Skylin, 7, and Victoria, 1.
Terry said her cousin was rushed to the hospital but could not be saved, noting she died alone because the family was unable to find her.
“How do parents go school shopping and then die shielding their baby from bullets?" she said.
David Johnson, 63, also died shielding his family from the gunfire, his family said.
Johnson was protecting his wife and 9-year-old granddaughter when he was fatally shot, Reuters reported.
“He was surrounded by 3 gun shells,” his niece wrote on Facebook. “That could have been 1 each for him, my aunt, and my niece. He protected them from that murderer. And worked as a shield. If he hadn’t have been there they wouldn’t have made it. We all cry for your loss, but we are grateful to still have my aunt Kathy and Katie. Thank you for saving them. I love you and I know you’re with your parents in heaven.”
Arturo Benavides, 60, was at a register paying for groceries when the shooting began, his great-niece and goddaughter, Jacklin Luna, told the New York Times. He had gone shopping with his wife of more than 30 years, Patricia Benavides, but she was sitting on a bench by a restroom when the gunfire rang out. She was pushed into a bathroom stall during the shooting and separated from her husband, who did not survive the attack.
A lifelong resident of El Paso, Arthur had worked as a bus driver for Sun Metro, the city’s public transit system. He was also an Army veteran and was very proud of his service.
“He would tell [anyone] about the military or his Army days,” Luna said. “He was super, super giving, caring.”
Loved ones of Leo Campos and Maribel Hernandez were alerted that something was wrong when a dog groomer called them because the couple had failed to pick up their pet they had dropped off before heading to Walmart, they told KFOX/NDBC.
Police confirmed to the family that both had died in the shooting.
The death of Javier Rodriguez, 15, was confirmed on Twitter by his school district. He had just completed his freshman year at Horizon High School, but his family planned to enroll him in a different school for his sophomore year.
Javier's sister spent Saturday and Sunday appealing on social media for any information about her little brother's whereabouts. By Sunday night, she wrote on Twitter that her family received the news they hoped would never come.
"We were informed my brother did not survive the shooting," she wrote. "I lost my everything, my best friend."
Angelina Englisbee, 86, was on the phone with one of her sons when she told him she had to go because she was in the checkout line at Walmart just before 10:30 a.m. Saturday.
It was the last time she was heard from, Englisbee’s 16-year-old granddaughter, Mia Peake, said. Peake and her mother were on the way to El Paso from their home in New Mexico when they learned she had not survived.
“My mom could not stop crying, and I remember thinking, ‘I can’t cry until we get there, I can’t cry until we stop,’” Peake told the Times.
Englisbee had eight children, including one son who died in infancy, she worked hard to provide for her large family after her husband died of a heart attack, Peake said.
“She was a very strong person, very blunt,” she said.
Since Sunday, Englisbee’s her loved ones had gathered at her home, where they remembered the family matriarch and grappled with the decision to view video footage of the shooting in an attempt to learn exactly what happened.
“It feels like hell – it doesn’t feel real,” Peake said.
Crusius, the suspect in the shooting, is accused of posting a racist, anti-immigrant manifesto on the message board 8chan before allegedly carrying out the shooting. After the shooting, he surrendered to police in the shopping center’s parking lot, officials said. He has been charged with capital murder and is being held on no bond.
The shooting “appears to be designed to intimidate a civilian population, to say the least,” U.S. Attorney John Bash told reporters. "We're going to do what we do to terrorists in this country, which is to deliver swift and certain justice.”
It is not uncommon for Mexican citizens to cross over to the U.S. to shop on the weekends, especially during the back-to-school season at to that store in particular, locals told the Times.
“Mexicans are very hard-working people,” Carmen Dominguez, 58, who works as an attendant at a local hotel that was packed with visitors, told the newspaper. “They were shopping for their kids. They save their money all year round to shop for their kids.”
It took less than 13 hours for gunfire to again ring out and devastate a U.S. community.
Connor Betts, 24, began firing at 1:07 a.m. on East Fifth Street in Dayton, Ohio, where more than 1,000 people were enjoying the area’s nightlife, officials said.
Uniformed officers on patrol in the area responded the shooting and shot and killed Betts within one minute, authorities said. But before he was killed, Betts managed in only 30 seconds to take nine lives and injure 27 more.
Betts had arrived in the area with his sister, 22-year-old Megan K. Betts, and another person before leaving the group and then opening fire, officials said.
Megan was among those killed.
“She was a very bubbly personality — very kind,” said Alex Gerbic, who went to school with the Betts siblings. “From what I knew, they were close, as brother and sister. This was five or six years ago.”
Megan graduated from Bellbrook High School two years after her brother, whom Gerbic described as “more withdrawn” than his younger sister.
Megan had just completed a three-month summer internship working for the nonprofit Student Conservation Association, an outpost of the U.S. Forest Service.
"We really enjoyed the time that she spent working here for us. She was full of life and really passionate,” visitor center manager Daniel Cottrell told The Washington Post. “I’m just sad. I am just frustrated these things keep happening in this country.”
Megan was not the first person killed in the attack and it was not immediately clear if her brother intended to kill her. Also killed were Saeed Saleh, 38; Derrick R. Fudge, 57; Logan M. Turner, 30; Nicholas P. Cumer, 25; Thomas J. McNichols, 25; Lois L. Oglesby, 27; Beatrice N. Warren-Curtis, 36; and Monica E. Brickhouse, 39.
Derrick Fudge lived in Springfield, Ohio, but was visiting the area and was out with relatives when he was shot and killed, his sister Twyla Southall told the Dayton Daily News.
“They were all just down there enjoying themselves and had stepped out of, I think, one of the clubs and were in a line to get some food,” Southall said.
The consummate family man, Fudge was with his niece when he was killed.
“He was a good man and loved his family,” Southall said.
Logan Turner’s grandmother had already baked his favorite German chocolate cake, which they planned to tuck into Sunday to celebrate his 30th birthday. Life had been going according to plan for Turner when it was tragically cut short, his loved ones told People.
“He had a good job,” his aunt, Susan Scherbauer, said. “He had his own home. He had just met a girl he was so happy about. You could just see it on his face.”
After he was shot, Turner fell to the ground. Holly Redman was standing nearby and rushed to his side. She breathed into his mouth as another person pumped on his chest and yet another used her hands to try to stop the bleeding, she told WCPO.
“I just want his parents to know that we did everything possible to save him … like everything,” Redman said. “Three people were on him, and I was there when he took his last breaths. It’s so hard. … I’m sorry.”
A former high school varsity football player who loved fixing cars and worked as a machinist, Turner was a “wonderful, caring person,” his aunt tearfully said.
Scherbauer noted the cake his grandmother baked was still on the counter “waiting for him.”
Nicholas Cumer was out with colleagues from the Maple Tree Cancer Alliance, a nutrition and fitness center in Dayton that had recently offered him a full-time position. Cumer’s “loving and caring spirit” while completing an internship at the company impressed his superiors, and they were hopeful he would accept their offer.
“He continuously went above and beyond our expectations and worked with a high level of excellence,” the company said. “He was well-liked and respected by everyone on our team, and we all will miss him very much.”
Cumer had never before been out in downtown Dayton and so his colleagues decided to bring him with them that night. He was working toward a master’s degree in cancer care at Saint Francis University in Loretto, Pennsylvania.
“We join the nation in mourning Nicholas, alongside all of the victims of this tragedy,” Rev. Malachi Van Tassell, the university president, said in a statement.
Always civic-minded and dedicated to helping others, Cumer was recognized this year by the school for completing more than 100 hours of community service.
“He was a wonderful person, a wonderful person,” his mother, Vicky Cumer, tearfully told the Post. “He was smart and handsome. And everybody loved him.”
A beloved family man, Thomas “Teejay” McNichols was known as a “gentle giant” and “loving young man,” his aunt Donna Johnson told People.
He loved playing Fortnite with his nephews and son and was a fan of the Marvel franchise.
“Whenever a Marvel movie came out, he’d take his kids and nephews to the movies. Just a loving father and a loving family man,” Johnson said.
McNichols was dedicated to his family and worked hard at a factory to provide for his four children, his cousin, Jevin Lamar, said.
“He was a great father, a great brother — he was a protector,” Lamar told the Times.
Lamar learned of McNichols’ death after learning another friend was also killed in the shooting.
Lois Oglesby had just given birth to her second child. She often posted photos of her children on social media, including a maternity photo shoot in which she involved her oldest daughter.
“Now she is gone, and they are never going to see their mother again,” Lamar said.
A man who identified himself on social media as the father of Oglesby's youngest child said she FaceTimed him after being shot.
"She was letting me know she loved me and to take care of these kids," he wrote. "I can't stop crying."
Beatrice Warren-Curtis and Monica Brickhouse appeared to be out together when they were killed.
Both women lived in Virginia, but Brickhouse’s family still lived in Springfiend, Ohio, a friend said.
“I am in shock!!!” one friend posted on Facebook after the women were confirmed to be dead. “Both of you will be missed so much. I will cherish the many memories I have of y’all. I’m sending positive energy to both of your families.
“To lose a loved one to senseless violence is just unfair, especially since it could be preventable!!” the friend continued.