Who were the victims of the El Paso mass shooting?

By MORGAN LEE and AMY GUTHRIE, Associated Press

EL PASO, Texas - One man protected his wife and granddaughter before he was fatally shot; another was killed during an outing with his beloved son.

Stories of bravery and loss are emerging from the shootings that took more than 30 lives in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio.

A shooter opened fire at a Walmart store in the Texas border city, leaving 22 people dead and some two dozen injured. Hours later, at an entertainment district in Ohio, another gunman killed nine people and injured more than two dozen others.

Here are the stories of some of the victims of the El Paso shooting:

David Johnson: Father who saved wife and granddaughter

An account of self-sacrifice emerged Monday involving a grandfather who died in the mass shooting in El Paso, while his wife and granddaughter survived.

Stephanie Melendez said that her 63-year-old father, David Johnson, was shot and killed near the checkout counters at the Walmart where the attack took place. She credits Johnson with saving the life of her 9-year-old daughter and his own wife by thrusting them to the floor below a counter and out of the way of gunfire before he was killed.

"He saved them," Melendez said. "He pushed them underneath." Johnson's wife was unavailable to describe the events firsthand.

Raul Melendez believes his daughter's life was saved by the actions of Johnson, but still worries about what she may have witnessed.

"I hope she didn't get to see anything and that she's not affected later on," he said.

Co-workers of Johnson, a salesman, delivered flowers and food as family members gathered in mourning on Monday evening at a one-story home.

Margie Reckard: 'An angel' to husband

El Paso shooting victim Margie Reckard, 63, was "an angel" to Antonio Basco, her husband of more than two decades.

Basco told KFOX-TV that he and Reckard were together for 22 years, and her kindness and selflessness were incomparable.

"I mean you didn't even have to be there to talk to her. You could just look at how she was, how she acted, how she presented herself. She was an awesome lady," he said. "You see Margie, more or less, was the brains of the family."

Basco said he and Reckard knew there was something between them as soon as they met, and their life together was like something out of a fairy tale. Reckard was the strong one, he said, and she's "going to be missed a lot."

"We were gonna live together and die together," he said. "That was our plan."

Javier Amir Rodriguez: High school sophomore

Javier Amir Rodriguez, 15, was starting his sophomore year in high school when he was fatally shot at the store.

The Clint Independent School District, which identified the teen as being among the victims Monday, said he attended Horizon High School in El Paso.

The district said it had been in contact with his family and sent condolences. Valeria Chavez, a cousin of the youth, told KFOX-TV that Rodriquez was at the Walmart with an uncle who described what happened.

"He told me my cousin had made eye contact with the shooter and they were in the bank and as soon as the shooter walked in, he grabbed my cousin. He says he saw the shooter shoot him," Chavez said.

The school district said counselors would be available, and a vigil was set for Monday night at the high school's football stadium.

Arturo Benavides: Easygoing Army veteran

Arturo Benavides, a U.S. Army veteran who retired as a bus driver a few years ago, was checking out at the Walmart store when the gunman entered.

His niece, Jacklin Luna, told the Los Angeles Times that 60-year-old Benavides was among those killed. His wife, Patricia, was sitting on a nearby bench and was pushed into a bathroom for safety, Luna said.

Benavides, who was born and raised in El Paso, had worked as a bus driver for El Paso's Sun Metro.

"I spent my childhood waking up at their house, sitting out on the front porch with him on Sunday mornings, listening to the oldies on the radio," said Luna, who described him as kind and generous.

His nephew, Ruben Rojas, said Benavides was an "easygoing" man who enjoyed watching sports and was also a good Roman Catholic who went to Mass.

Ivan Manzano: A friendly and practical man

Ivan Manzano, who had a 5-year-old daughter and 9-year-old son, was from Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, and ran a business that supplies orthopedic implants.

His wife, Adriana Manzano, learned from the FBI that he was killed in the shooting in the Walmart. She traveled to the Mexican consulate in El Paso on Monday to repatriate her husband's body, and said he was known by everyone as friendly, calm -- "very practical."

Adriana Manzano said she has told her children only that their father had died in an "accident," believing that giving a full explanation might generate resentments.

Jordan Anchondo: 'Gave her life' for her baby

Jordan Anchondo was among those killed in El Paso, Anchondo's sister said, and she apparently died while protecting her 2-month-old son from the hail of bullets.

Leta Jamrowski of El Paso spoke to The Associated Press as she paced a waiting room at the University Medical Center of El Paso, where her 2-month-old nephew was being treated for broken bones -- the result of his mother's fall.

"From the baby's injuries, they said that more than likely my sister was trying to shield him," she said. "So when she got shot she was holding him and she fell on him, so that's why he broke some of his bones. So he pretty much lived because she gave her life."

Jordan, a mother of three, and Andre Anchondo had dropped off her 5-year old daughter at cheerleading practice before going to shop for school supplies Saturday at Walmart. They never returned.

Andre Anchondo: Had turned his life around

Andre Anchondo -- the husband of Jordan Anchondo -- had recently turned his life around after struggles with drug dependence and run-ins with the law, a friend recalled.

On Sunday night, John Jamrowski, the grandfather of Jordan Anchondo, said in a text message that his family has been notified of Andre Anchondo's death.

Friend Koteiba "Koti" Azzam had fond memories of Andre Anchondo.

"I love the guy," Azzam said in a phone interview from San Marcos, Texas. "He had the character and the charisma."

Azzam said Andre Anchondo had started a business in El Paso, building things from granite and stone, and made it successful through hard work. He also was on the verge of completing a family home.

"It makes you question your faith almost," said Azzam, who is Muslim. "But God didn't have a part in it. The hands of man altered my friend's life in a drastic way."

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