Uncle of Orphaned Boy Defends Trump's Appearance in Photo - NBC Chicago
President Donald Trump

President Donald Trump

The latest news on President Donald Trump's presidency

Uncle of Orphaned Boy Defends Trump's Appearance in Photo

The child's parents, Andre and Jordan Anchondo, were among 22 killed in El Paso



    El Paso Mom Died Shielding Baby. Dad Died Shielding Them Both.

    With incredible strength, 25-year-old El Paso shooting victim Jordan Anchondo's aunt and uncle shared the worst news they could've imagined. "My niece, Jordan, we lost her yesterday," Elizabeth Terry, Anchondo's aunt, said. Anchondo and her husband, Andre, were inside the Walmart with their 2-month-old newborn baby, Paul. They were buying school supplies for the couple's 5-year-old daughter. "She was an amazing personality, strong willed, the light of our family," Terry said about her niece. "A huge character, a huge, just big person inside and out." When the gunman entered and opened fire inside the superstore, the young couple were struck. Paramedics told the family the mother shielded her baby boy from the bullets, breaking his fingers as she collapsed to the ground. "They identified her iPhone watch, the iWatch, and my brother was able to see tattoos on her body that she had that were pretty distinct," Jesse Jamrowski said about his niece. "Her baby was covered in blood, bruised up." Jordan Anchondo was pronounced dead at the hospital. It wasn't until late Sunday afternoon that the family learned Andre Anchondo had died, too. (Published Monday, Aug. 5, 2019)

    The uncle of a 2-month-old boy whose parents were killed in the El Paso mass shooting on Friday defended a photo that shows first lady Melania Trump holding the baby while President Donald Trump smiles and gives a thumbs-up gesture.

    The photo , released Thursday on Twitter by the first lady's office, drew backlash from some who thought it reflected a lack of empathy and politicized the shootings.

    Tito Anchondo, the uncle of baby Paul Anchondo, told The Associated Press on Friday that Trump "was just there to give his condolences and he was just being a human being." He previously told NPR that he and his brother were Trump supporters.

    "Is it that hard to try and understand that a family is trying to not be sad at a moment like this?" said Anchondo, who also appears in the photo along with his sister. "We're trying to be as strong as we can. ... My brother is gone."

    The child's parents, Andre and Jordan Anchondo, were among 22 killed and about two dozen wounded when a gunman opened fire Saturday inside a Walmart packed with shoppers. Authorities say Jordan Ancondo was shielding the baby, while her husband shielded them both. The boy suffered broken fingers.

    Tito Anchondo declined to describe the encounter with Trump in more detail, saying he had received death threats.

    "We should be coming together as a country at this time instead of threatening each other with hate messages," he said.

    Authorities say the gunman, 21-year-old Patrick Crusius, confessed after surrendering and said he had been targeting Mexicans.

    John Jamrowski, the grandfather of Jordan Anchondo, told AP he received an early-morning phone call Wednesday from a hospital inviting his family to schedule a meeting with the president. Jamrowski said he declined in an effort to stay out of the political fray and avoid misinterpretations.

    "We're politically neutral," he said Friday. "We discussed it as a family and said, 'You know what, this could be spun around.'"

    Trump Visits Dayton, El Paso After Shootings

    [NATL] Trump Visits Dayton, El Paso After Shootings

    President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump visited Dayton, Ohio, to meet with victims of Sunday's deadly mass shooting. They were met by protesters outside the hospital. Later they traveled to El Paso, Texas.

    (Published Wednesday, Aug. 7, 2019)

    Jamrowski declined comment about the photo of his great-grandson.