Nearly three months after the shooting that took the lives of 22 shoppers and injured 26, the Cielo Vista Walmart reopened Thursday, November 14th.
As members of the press and law enforcement looked on, shoppers slowly made their way into the remodeled store. Cheers could be heard from the Walmart staffers inside.
Some Walmart team members and shoppers alike comforted each other as the reopening got underway.
One shopper who spoke with our crew said she felt a bit uneasy walking into to the store, but the feeling quickly went away, once she was inside and the staff welcomed her in.
Father Fabian Marquez, who visited the site a few weeks back, was invited back by Walmart team members to start the day with a prayer. Once the doors opened for the east-central store, it quickly filled with shoppers.
Many had feared that the store – the only large grocery store within walking distance for the nearby neighborhoods – would not be reopening.
The University of Texas at El Paso’s C.L. Sonnichsen Special Collections Department will honor the 22 people who died as a result of the mass shooting in El Paso on August 3rd at its Day of the Dead altar.
“This affected so many people,” Claudia Rivers Head of Special Collections said. “We all are still in mourning.”
The department annually erects an altar to celebrate the life or lives of local to international celebrities with a background in the arts or literature who have died within the past year.
This year’s altar will include a collage of the photos of those who died, their names and newspaper clippings of the shooting and its aftermath. The display also will have some text about internet sites where people can get more information about this event.
The display, located on the third floor of the University Library near the stairs, is expected to go up Wednesday, October 30, and stay up for about two weeks.
As always, the altar will include traditional sugar skulls, candles, flowers and “papel picado” (tissue paper cut into decorative designs).
If the public would like to bring in items that relate to the Aug. 3 victims, they may contact Rivers at 915-747-5697 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
One Fund El Paso and the National Compassion Fund have joined with agencies in El Paso and Ciudad Juarez to provide help for those applying for direct financial assistance related to the August 3 mass shooting in El Paso.
Applications to One Fund El Paso may be completed online, or with the assistance of the following agencies. The deadline to apply is 11:59 p.m. Friday, November 8, 2019.
There are four types of applications — death benefits; individual physical injury for victims requiring overnight hospitalization or long-term care; individual physical injury of victims treated at area hospitals on an emergency outpatient basis; and individuals witnessing the attack and its aftermath.
Victims must have been present at the Cielo Vista Walmart, Sam’s Club or their respective parking lots during the attack.
One Fund El Paso is a single entity established by the City of El Paso, the El Paso Community Foundation and the Paso del Norte Community Foundation to streamline the process of distributing donated funds to victims of the August 3 mass shooting.
Applicants must call or email ahead to set up an appointment at any of these locations.
Centro San Vicente Health Center, 8061 Alameda, 915-858-2932
Ask to speak with Outreach and Enrollment Assisters
County of El Paso General Assistance, 6314 Delta, 915-775-2726
Centro de Inclusion Digital, Melquiades Alanis 6431, Col. San Lorenzo, 656-257-0136
Hours: 10 a.m.-2 p.m. October 19, October 26, and November 2.
One Fund El Paso y el National Compassion Fund están colaborando con agencias de El Paso y Ciudad Juárez para ayudar a llenar la forma para asistencia financiera a los afectados por el tiroteo del 3 de Agosto en El Paso. La forma se puede llenar en linea en nationalcompassionfund.org, o pueden recibir asistencia para el llenado en las agencias aquí abajo enlistadas. Recuerde que la fecha límite para aplicar a los fondos es el 8 de Noviembre del 2019.
Existen 4 tipos de aplicación – para beneficiarios por fallecimiento, para herida física con hospitalización de mas de 24 horas o de cuidados de largo plazo, para herida física con atención ambulatoria en hospitales de la región y para individuos que presenciaron el ataque y/o la escena después del ataque. Las víctimas tuvieron que haber estado presentes en el Walmart o Sam’s Club de Cielo Vista o en sus respectivos estacionamientos durante el ataque. One Fund El Paso es una organización individual establecida por la Ciudad de El Paso, El Paso Community Foundation y Paso del Norte Community Foundation para agilizar el proceso de la distribución de los fondos donados para las víctimas del tiroteo del 3 de Agosto.
The Senate Select Committee on Mass Violence Prevention and Community Safety will hold a hearing in El Paso to hear invited and public testimony next week.
The hearing is set for Monday, October 21st at the El Paso Natural Gas Conference Center at UTEP, from 2 to 7 p.m.
Residents are encouraged to attend and testify, especially community members impacted by the El Paso shooting.
“This is an important opportunity for individuals to speak before state leadership on the personal, family, and community impacts of mass shootings in Texas and potential state policies that may prevent future acts of mass violence,” State Senator Jose Rodriguez shared via a news release.
The members of the Committee include Sen. José Rodríguez of El Paso, and Sens. Joan Huffman (Chair), Judith Zaffirini (Vice Chair), Donna Campbell, Kelly Hancock, Jane Nelson, Charles Perry, Larry Taylor, and John Whitmire.
Please contact Sen. Rodríguez’s office at 915-351-3500 for more information on how to testify, submit written testimony, or if you require translation services.
Following the concluding Celebration of Mass of the Hope Border Institute’s 2019 Teach-In: Jornada por la justicia, Most Rev. Mark J. Seitz, Bishop of the Diocese of El Paso, signed and released a pastoral letter on the theme of racism and the El Paso shooting which took place on August 3rd, 2019.
“The pastoral letter, entitled, Night Will Be No More, represents a major statement from the Catholic community on the intersecting issues of race, gun violence, racially motivated attacks on Latinos in the United States and the ongoing militarization of the border,” Diocese of El Paso officials shared.
“It will be the first major statement from the Catholic Church on the theme of racism from the perspective of the border and connects the El Paso shooting to historical racism at the border and the recent resurgence of racism against Latinos in the United States,” officials added.
The signing of the pastoral letter will took place in the presence of hundreds of Latino leaders who were in El Paso for the Jornada por la justicia, including the Latinx Catholic Leadership Coalition, an emerging coalition of faith leaders, theologians and labor leaders recently formed in response to recent events at the border.
To read his complete letter on the Hope Border Institute website, click on the link below.
Pastoral Letter to the People of God in El Paso: On August 3rd, 2019, El Paso was the scene of a massacre or matanza that left 22 dead, injured dozens and traumatized a binational community. Hate visited our community and Latino blood was spilled in sacrifice to the false god of white supremacy.
The man accused of killing 22 people and injuring more than two dozen others in the August 3rd shooting at the Cielo Vista Walmart plead not guilty at his first appearance in court Thursday afternoon.
Amid the clicking shutters of cameras and the hushed whispers of those in attendance in the packed El Paso County Ceremonial Courtroom, Patrick Crusius entered and at times stood with a neutral look on his face as the arraignment proceedings went on around him.
Security was tight in and around the court, as uniformed Sheriff’s Deputies, as well as other law enforcement were visible. Several deputies stood side by side, facing the courtroom’s gallery.
During the brief hearing, Crusius was sworn in, and then advised the court that he did not want the charges read to him; instead Crusius received a transcript and read them himself.
He then pleaded not guilty to the charges, surrounded by his lawyers and security personnel.
Judge Sam Medrano, of the 409th state District Court presiding over the hearing, then set another hearing for November 7th at 2 p.m.
District Attorney Jaime Esparza did not comment on the case. Esparza is seeking the death penalty in this case.
El Paso Mayor Dee Margo on Friday doubled down on his support of stricter background checks on Friday but stopped short of supporting other gun control measures like “red flag” laws and an assault weapons ban. And — unlike his fellow El Pasoan Beto O’Rourke — he said outright that he did not support any kind of mandatory buyback program.
The Republican and former state legislator spoke at a Texas Tribune Festival panel alongside Dayton, Ohio, Mayor Nan Whaley, a Democrat. The cities saw deadly mass shootings on the same weekend last month.
Days after the shootings, Margo and Whaley were among a bipartisan group of more than 200 U.S. mayors who called on the U.S. Senate to return from recess to pass background check legislation — a request Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell declined.
On Friday, they agreed that background checks are a necessary first step before exploring other types of gun control measures, including red flag laws, though Whaley expressed more pointed support for other policies.
“I always want to avoid a knee-jerk response without looking at what are the potential ramifications,” Margo said, adding that “the easiest place to start is the background check.”
Twenty-two people were killed and more than two dozen were wounded in the Aug. 3 shooting at a Wal-Mart in El Paso. The gunman was arrested and charged with capital murder.
Also at Friday’s discussion, Margo appeared open to exploring red flag laws but also expressed concern about them being abused, saying, “You’ve got to make darn sure you’ve got the protections in there and also that it couldn’t be used as a leverage point for someone to get at someone else.”
As for an assault weapons ban, he said, “I don’t know that we really need that type of weapon” but also that “you can be just as powerful with a 9 millimeter.” He also noted that there is disagreement over the definition of what constitutes an assault weapon and that needs to be cleared up before anything else can be done.
Meanwhile, Whaley said she shuttered to think what would have happened if six police officers hadn’t stopped the gunman in the Aug. 4 Dayton shooting before he entered a crowded bar. By the time he was shot, she said, he had gotten only halfway through a 100-round magazine, killing nine people and wounding more than 20 others on a busy street. Limits on high-capacity magazines is one proposal that’s been floating amid the country’s mass shooting crisis.
She also expressed hope that Congress would consider some kind of assault weapons ban.
But Whaley and Margot also appeared to agree that an all-out ban on guns wouldn’t necessarily fix the problem. Margo noted it’s almost impossible to get a gun legally in Mexico and “yet you’ve got the drug cartels running rampant, you still have the high murder rates.” Whaley noted that many of the shootings in Chicago — which is also governed by strict gun laws — are carried out with firearms purchased in surrounding states with more relaxed standards.
During Friday’s panel, Margo said he hadn’t gotten any pushback from U.S. Sens. John Cornyn and Ted Cruz — both Texas Republicans — over his support for stricter background checks, and noted that even ultra-conservative Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick has come out in support of background checks for private, person-to-person gun sales. Margo said he hadn’t specifically discussed the issue with Gov. Greg Abbott.
Margo also supported Abbott’s decisions not to call a special session to address the rampant mass shootings that have occurred in the state, saying that the state needs to gather more data before it can craft effective policies.
And despite his long-running spat with President Donald Trump, Margo praised his fellow Republican for his response to the shooting. In addition to clashes over border issues, it was reported that Trump called Margo a “RINO” — the acronym for Republican in name only — during a private meeting after the shooting. Trump also said that El Paso was one of the most dangerous cities in the United States. (The opposite is true.)
During the panel, Margo said he made sure to correct the misinformation but also that “He covered all his bases.”
Whaley, meanwhile, said she spent two-and-a-half hours with Trump after the Dayton shooting and didn’t see him hug anyone in the hospital — as was widely reported — or say anything substantive.
“I was actually most amazed that a person could be around for three hours and not have a meaningful conversation,” she said. “That was my biggest takeaway from that period.”
For immediate support, Macy’s donated $20,000 to the organization in August.
From August 6 through August 20, Macy’s stores throughout the state of Texas offered customers the opportunity to round-up their in-store purchase to the nearest dollar (up to $.99) to benefit the El Paso Victims Relief Fund, $80,773 was raised through the round-up campaign with 100 percent of the funds benefitting victims and their families affected by the tragedy.
Macy’s colleagues will present the total check donation on Monday, September 16 at Macy’s Cielo Vista.
As part of this, Macy’s would also like to recognize the significant contributions of El Paso’s local heroes – the first responders.
Any first responders who arrive at the event between 11:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. will receive a $25 Macy’s gift card as well as a special shopping experience with a Macy’s Personal Stylist and beauty experts.
Customers will also be able to enjoy light refreshments during the event.
Macy’s officials added that they will “continue to work with the El Paso community to identify meaningful ways to support our neighbors and friends impacted by this tragedy.”
On Tuesday, the Museums and Cultural Affairs Department announced that they created a Digital Memorial to honor the victims of the August 3rd shooting at Walmart on the Digital Wall of the El Paso Museum of History.
“This digital documentation signifies the importance and accessibility for archiving history that is occurring in this very moment,” said El Paso Museum of History Director Vladimir von Tsurikov. “This memorial will not only provide healing to community members that submit their photographs for the archive but will also serve as a capsule to preserve and record this detrimental time in El Paso history.”
Staff members with the museum of history encourage the community to submit their photos or videos to the digital memorial at www.DIGIE.org.
The submissions can commemorate the lives and legacies of the victims, moments of vigils and memorials, or community events that supported the El Paso Shooting Victims Fund.
The digital memorial can be accessed on the wall by touching the blooming Mexican Gold Poppies that have been added to the El Paso Cityscape. In many cultures, poppies symbolize consolation for a loss or death in the family, remembering the fallen, and resurrection and eternal life.
The Mexican Gold Poppy was chosen for the Digital Wall Memorial because it is native to the El Paso region. In the spring, the poppies blanket the Franklin Mountains.
Photos must be in jpeg, png or gif and no larger than 10 megabytes when submitted. Videos must be no longer than 3 minutes. The files should be a mov, avi or mp4 video and no larger than 50 megabytes.
Nearly a month removed from the shooting at the Cielo Vista Walmart that took the lives of 22 people and injured over two dozen others, El Paso’s own music superstar Khalid returned to the Sun City to help raise money for victims.
Our very own Andres ‘Ace’ Acosta was there and we bring you his view of the ‘Benefit for Sun City’ in this ‘Story in Many Pics’
El Paso Streetcar officials announced that starting Tuesday, September 3, the fares for the will be waived in order to encourage ridership. Simultaneously, the City will be collecting donations for the development of a permanent El Paso Strong Memorial.
“Our region is united in the effort to develop a place of healing and support for everyone impacted by the recent horrific act of violence. I’m confident our El Paso Streetcar riders will welcome the El Paso Strong Ride project as an opportunity to support the creation of a memorial of local, regional and national significance that will celebrate life and condemn racism,” said Tracey Jerome, Managing Director of Museum and Cultural Affairs, Libraries and Tourism.
In an effort to encourage people to ride the El Paso Streetcar, the fares will be waived throughout September. In addition, riders will have the opportunity to donate via the streetcar fare boxes to the El Paso Strong Ride Project, a fundraising effort in support of the development of a permanent memorial to honor the victims and survivors of the domestic terrorism attack on August 3.
The City of El Paso is working with public and private organizations to develop a permanent memorial honoring the victims and survivors of the attack.
The El Paso Streetcar will accept donations of any amount via its fare boxes.
The El Paso Strong Ride project follows a series of summer special events designed to encourage the public to rediscover downtown and uptown by riding the historic streetcars.
The El Paso Streetcar operates Sunday through Wednesday 11 a.m. to midnight, and Thursday through Saturday 11 a.m. to 3 a.m.
Riders can plan their trips by using an app that provides real-time information on the location of all streetcars in service along the nearly 5-mile route. The app is free and available from Google Play and the Apple App store.
In an effort to help students, staff and community members heal, the University of Texas at El Paso is hosting “Trauma, Resilience & Resistance,” an interdisciplinary response to the recent gun violence in El Paso.
Gina Nuñez-Mchiri, Ph.D., director of UTEP’s Women’s and Gender Studies program and associate professor of anthropology, said UTEP students requested this event to give them a chance to interact with others on campus to address some of the issues tied to the August 3, 2019, massacre where a lone gunman killed 22 and injured 24 at the Cielo Vista Walmart.
“Healing takes time,” said Nuñez-Mchiri, the event’s lead organizer who added that she hoped that this was the start of a series. “This event is one way that UTEP faculty, staff, students and community partners can share their expertise to help with the healing process. Once word of this activity got out, colleagues reached out. They wanted to help.”
The two day event is underway now, and will run from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday, August 28 and 29, 2019, at UTEP’s Blumberg Auditorium.
UTEP faculty members from the colleges of Education, Liberal Arts and Health Sciences, and other presenters from the Border Network for Human Rights and The University of Texas at Austin will conduct many of the lectures, workshops and dialogues during the two-day event in the Blumberg on the first floor of the University Library.
Gov. Greg Abbott on Thursday convened the first meeting of the newly formed Texas Safety Commission, ramping up the state’s efforts to devise policy solutions in the wake of the deadly shooting targeting immigrants and Hispanics earlier this month in El Paso.
For over four hours, the commission — which includes state leaders, lawmakers and law enforcement officials — met behind closed doorsat the Capitol in what Abbott described as the “next step to make sure that we respond robustly and rapidly to the” El Paso attack.
Speaking with reporters at the end of the meeting, Abbott rattled off a long list of items that were discussed — stronger threat assessment efforts, better collaboration between social media companies and law enforcement, strengthening the state’s domestic terrorism law. He also broached more politically sensitive issues related to guns, saying there was discussion surrounding red flag laws — or at least an alternative to them — background checks and assault weapons.
“I think the conversation went in a lot of different directions,” state Rep. Joe Moody, D-El Paso, told reporters after the meeting. “Guns were discussed extensively — what we have under current law, what we can do under potential news laws. I think everything was on the table.”
“It was a very open and candid conversation and I’m certainly encouraged by the fact we’re trying to build consensus” around the issues, added Moody, the House speaker pro tem.
Twenty-two people were killed and more than two dozen wounded in the El Paso shooting, which took place Aug. 3 at a Walmart. Authorities believe the gunman, who was arrested and charged with capital murder, published an anti-immigrant manifesto shortly before the massacre, railing against a “Hispanic invasion of Texas.”
Thursday was the first of two meetings that are planned for the safety commission, with the second one scheduled for next Thursday in El Paso. The meetings are similar to a series of roundtables that Abbott held in the wake of the 2018 Santa Fe High School shooting, and he presented a stack of papers to reporters Thursday to illustrate how many proposals came out of those roundtables that he signed into law.
Like he did after the Santa Fe roundtables, Abbott plans to issue a report with recommendations following the post-El Paso meetings. The governor, who has resisted pleas by some House Democrats to call a special session after El Paso, said the commission will focus on “ideas and suggestions that can lead to laws” but emphasized the state can take more immediate action without legislation.
More than 20 people were killed in an Aug. 3, 2019, shooting rampage at a Walmart in El Paso. The gunman was arrested and charged with capital murder for the shooting in El Paso, which is recoveringfrom what federal law enforcement has classified as an act of domestic terrorism.
On Wednesday, officials with the Paso del Norte Community Foundation accepted a $100,000 donation from Wells Fargo.
Well Fargo contributed $50,000 for the El Paso Victims Relief Fund and $50,000 for United Way’s El Paso Community Assistance Fund within the Paso del Norte Community Foundation.
Officials say the donations will go a long way to helping the community and the victims and their families in the wake of the of Saturday, August 3rd shooting.
The El Paso Community Assistance Fund was established to rebuild the resources and capacity of local partners offering services including crisis counseling, emergency food and shelter, disaster response, and other needs as they arise.
The El Paso Victims Relief Fund was established to accept monetary donations to support victims and their families affected by the tragedy.
In the span of just two weeks, Antonio Basco has lived the range of emotions many will never experience.
On August 3rd, Basco’s wife, Margie Reckard, was shot and killed during the Walmart shooting. In the hours and days after the shooting, it came to be known that Basco had no family in town to attend Margie’s service, so he invited entire community to her services.
And El Pasoans came out.
As thousands of fellow El Pasoans grieved with Basco, sometime Saturday night his work truck and tools were stolen. The truck was returned, wrecked and vandalized on Sunday.
Enter El Pasoans once again.
With the support of the Team Casa family of dealerships, an anonymous person who donated a new power washer to him, a trailer donated by Desert Haven and various car accessories donated by AutoZone – Basco was given the keys to a brand-new Ford on Monday afternoon.