El Pasoans mourn with Boulder community after mass shooting, reflect on August 3

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EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — El Paso mourned with the city of Boulder, Colo., after police say a gunman opened fire at a supermarket, killing 10 people, including a police officer.

In Boulder, a makeshift memorial grows outside the King Sooper grocery store, with flowers and signs, a similar sight to the one here in El Paso that grew outside of the Cielo Vista Walmart following the mass shooting on Aug. 3, 2019.

The shootings in Boulder reopened wounds for some in El Paso, including those who lost loved ones at the Walmart mass shooting.

“My wife told me there was another shooting, at a grocery store nonetheless, and I just thought it was too close to home,” said Tito Anchondo.

Tito Anchondo lost his brother, Andre, and sister-in-law Jordan in the Walmart mass shooting on Aug. 3. They were shot and killed while protecting their infant son, Paul. Anchondo said the Boulder incident brought back a painful reality.

“Hearing the news just broke my heart. How can people just go into a store and shoot people?” Anchondo said.

The Anchondo family said looking back, it was the way the community came together that helped them cope.

“When it comes to healing, I think the community has a huge impact on that,” Anchondo said.

Sharing a message to the Boulder community, Anchondo said people need to stand together to get through the pain their feeling right now, especially the families of the ten people killed.

“For this person to just disappear, it leaves this huge hole behind that needs to be repaired so to speak and that’s what the community is there for,” Anchondo said.

El Paso County Judge Ricardo Samaniego spoke with KTSM 9 News about his feelings following the mass shooting in Boulder.

“The response from the community was extremely helpful because the community came quickly together,” Samaniego said.

Samaniego said he reached out to Boulder Mayor Sam Weaver about the shootings. He said he will be speaking at the Boulder City Council’s meeting on Wednesday to share how the El Paso community came together in the similar situation back in 2019.

“We’ve gotten to the level where we need to be and I feel more comfortable to share our learning with another community and hopefully make their journey less difficult than we had,” Samaniego said.

El Paso County is unveiling its Healing Garden at Ascarate Park in August in time for the second anniversary of the Walmart mass shooting. Samaniego said it will feature the 23 names of the people shot and killed on Aug. 3. He said he plans to invite members of the Georgia and Boulder communities to heal alongside El Paso.

The County also plans a month and healing and unity beginning in July, leading up to Aug. 3.

The Boulder shootings come less than a week after the spa shootings in Georgia, where eight people were shot and killed. Six of them were women of Asian descent.

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