Grandparents shot as they pulled in to East El Paso Walmart, family says

El Paso Strong

EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — UPDATE: Sadly, the family of Juan Velasquez, confirms he was one of the two victims who passed away overnight at Del Sol Medical Center. His wife Nicholasa is still recovering.


It’s the call no one wants to get. However, the reality is that dozens of El Paso families are dealing with the panic that comes along with finding out their loved ones were injured Saturday’s Cielo Vista Walmart shooting.

For the Velazquez family, it hit twice as hard.

“We all just panicked, we were scared, we were crying, we didn’t know what to do,” Daisy Fuentes said.

Fuentes’ grandparents, Juan and Nicholasa Velazquez were both critically injured outside of the Cielo Vista Walmart Saturday morning. Juan Velazquez is in his 70s and Nicholasa Velazquez is in her 60s, family members said.

Fuentes told KTSM that her grandparents had just parked their car in the Walmart parking lot when they were approached by the shooter.

“So they had already been shot when my grandma called my mom, and they were just crying telling us that it hurt where they shot them at, it hurt,” Fuentes said. “My mom was just trying to tell her to stay calm, to just breathe and my grandma just told my mom to call the ambulance because they weren’t coming fast enough.”

Fuentes and her uncle Alvaro Mena, who both live in Colorado, immediately went to the airport and jumped on the first flight to El Paso they could find. They arrived late Saturday night and immediately went to the East El Paso hospital where they’ve been waiting with their family since.

Nicholasa Velazquez was shot in the face and stomach near her ribs, though the family says her prognosis is good.

Juan Velasquez, however, isn’t doing as well, the family told KTSM. He was shot in the side of his stomach. The bullet damaged his kidneys and intestines. The family told KTSM he has undergone one surgery already and doctors advised them he would need another surgery later Sunday. He has yet to regain consciousness.

“That’s their Walmart. That’s the Walmart they go to every time they go,” Mena, the couple’s son, said. “They usually go at night, but I don’t know why they were there so early.”

Mena said a woman in the parking lot was waving at them, trying to tell them to stay away when they pulled up, but it was too late.

“Just the fact that she called my mom and my mom answered, that was amazing because if not, we wouldn’t have known all of this,” Fuentes said.

Mena and Fuentes said the couple has six children and about 15 grandkids. Many of them are holding vigil by their side.

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