EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – On the third anniversary of the Aug. 3 Walmart mass shooting, El Pasoans gathered at the Healing Garden dedicated to the victims.

El Pasoans could be seen walking through the Healing Garden in side Ascarate Park, where the names of the 23 victims are on display.

“As your walking by, you’re seeing the people’s names and it’s 23 people who were no longer with us, who were taken away from us,” said El Pasoan Yvette Munoz.

Munoz said she grew up in El Paso.

“El Paso is where I was born and raised and all I have is good memories, this safe close community and it was just rocked that day, shook us all to the core,” she said.

An El Paso man could be seen sitting on a bench at the Healing Garden with his two grandsons, who held a sign that said “My grandmother survived”.

 “She was working right there in the middle of the store, she’s an associate been there for 25 years or over,” said Eddie Medina, who came to Ascarate Park with his grandson but says his wife stayed at home.

“I do come for her, she won’t come here and I told her I’ll go for you, we can’t forget about this,” said Medina.

El Paso County Judge Ricardo Samaniego said the victims’ families are going through a lot with talk of the shooter’s trial.

“They’re hearing about the hearing coming up and it has intensified the investigation and so they’re going through a difficult time, so the third year is really difficult,” Samaniego said.

Samaniego says the victims’ families asked for this year to not be a big to-do on the anniversary.

“I think the trial and everything that’s going to happen in the next few years I think we’re going to be, just like there will be closure for them, there will be closure for our community. But I think right now there’s more questions than answers when comes to the trial, what’s happening with the DA and what they’re having to do,” he said.

However, he says he thinks it’s important that a service be held for both the families’ healing as well as the communities.

“The community also was extremely hurt and going through a healing process,” Samaniego said.

As KTSM previously reported, the Healing Garden was completed in 2021 and it’s a memorial with the names of the Aug. 3 victims in bronze plaques at Ascarate Park.

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