"We lost the light of our family and the light of our heart," loved ones said. At the cost of their own lives, the couple left behind three children who are far too young to understand what happened to their parents.
As they stood in the midst of the Walmart in El Paso, Texas, with a gunman standing inches away from them, the first instinct that Jordan and Andre Anchondo had was to save their baby boy. But in their efforts to do so, the couple had to give up their own lives just days after the two of them celebrated their first anniversary together, leaving behind their three children.
On Saturday, August 3, Jordan and Andre dropped off their 5-year-old daughter at her cheer practice and went to buy office supplies from Walmart with their 2-month-old infant boy. Soon, among the milling customers, one man opened fire and changed the lives of every single person present at the store.
Among the innocent victims were Jordan and Andre, but they did their best to make sure that their son was safe. “Her husband was in front of the gunman to protect Jordan, and Jordan was protecting her baby,” Monique Terry, Jordan’s cousin told The Guardian. "That explains who she was as a person – she gave everything for her baby."
My heart is so fucking torn right now. Jordan gave her life protecting her child. I hope you are resting easy in knowing you saved your baby boy.— Benjamin Thompson (@benjaminjamess_) August 4, 2019
I am praying you are in recovery, Andre. My heart goes out to you. All of El Paso is here for you and those beautiful babies. pic.twitter.com/efTALC7I9v
In the final moments of Jordan's life, she protected her baby boy with her arms wrapped around him and he survived with a few injuries.
“From the baby’s injuries, they said that more than likely my sister was trying to shield him,” Leta Jamrowski, Jordan's sister, told The Associated Press. “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.”
The baby boy was later "pulled from under her body" before he got the help he needed. "The baby still had her blood on him," Jordan’s aunt, Elizabeth Terry said, as reported by CNN. "You watch these things and see these things and you never think this is going to happen to your family."
Jordan and Andre were happily raising their young family and just completed an important milestone as a couple. Just days before the husband and wife lost their lives together, they celebrated their one-year anniversary. “They glued each other together. They were a perfect fit,” Monique said.
Speaking about Jordan, Monique said, “It’s very tough. She was the light of our family.”
“She brightened up the room. Her laugh was contagious. She always put you in a better mood … She always saw the good in people.”
Both Jordan and Andre were extremely adored by their family and friends who are now heartbroken to see their children orphaned. A GoFundMe page set up for their three children said, "Not only did Jordan & Andre love each other endlessly, but the children were so loved by them as well."
Now, their children are left behind and they are far too young to understand the tragedy that happened to their beloved parents. Though their baby boy suffered two fractured fingers, he's back with the family and healing. “He’s alive because of the heroics of both his mother and father,” Elizabeth said. “They are clearly amazing parents – self-sacrificing in every sense of the word … It’s a huge loss to the family and a huge loss to the world.”
Unlike her brother, Jordan's 5-year-old daughter is old enough to ask questions and miss her parents dearly. “Their oldest keeps asking for her mom and dad," Monique said. But right now, all that the family can do for the two children is shower them with “a lot of hugs, a lot of kisses, a lot of holding them tight”.
Elizabeth said, "We lost the light of our family and the light of our heart." Just like Jordan and Andre were parents, siblings, and cousins to someone, every single victim of the shooting was someone to somebody, who's now left grieving for an inconsolable loss.