A boy who lost both of his parents in a mass shooting at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas celebrated his first birthday with the help of an entire town. Paul Gilbert Anchondo was two months old when his parents, Andre and Jordan Anchondo, were murdered while protecting him from a mass shooter last year.
His relatives wanted his first birthday to be special, so they planned an event for him. As word spread of the planning, others outside of the family asked how they could get involved in the celebrations. With the help of the town, a birthday parade just for baby Paul was created.
In photos and videos, Paul can be seen dressed in blue and gold regalia, complete with a crown bearing his name. His grandfather, Gilbert Anchondo, called him “the prince of El Paso.”
“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,” motorcyclist Eduardo Prieto told CBS15 News.
Motorcyclists rode their bikes in a procession past Paul and his family, others drove by in their cars while showing off signs wishing the baby a Happy Birthday and words of encouragement.
Gilbert Anchondo hopes that when Paul is old enough to look back on his first birthday, he can see that he was always loved and supported by the community.
He said, “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.”
El Paso Shooting Baby Survivor — Sources
CBS15 News: Hundreds participated in birthday parade for 1-year-old Walmart shooting survivor
The Independent: Hundreds take part in parade to mark first birthday of baby survivor who lost both parents in El Paso shooting