EL PASO, Texas (CBS4) — By now we’ve seen countless birthdays celebrated by people driving in their car, but Saturday’s birthday celebration was special for hundreds of El Pasoans.
“I’m so happy. Today is his first birthday and I think we had to celebrate it, not only because it’s his first birthday but because he survived,” Gilberto Anchondo said. Gilberto said Saturday’s drive-by is to celebrate Paul Anchondo’s first birthday amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
“He obviously reminds me of my brother a lot. I think they look exactly the same and you have to remember that Andre was my little baby brother,” Gilberto said.
Paul’s parents, Jordan and Andre Anchondo, were both killed shielding baby Paul in the Walmart mass shooting on August 3.
“We obviously share him with his other grandparents, which we’re so happy to do and I think it’s rough for him transitioning every four or five days. Other than that, he is a happy, healthy boy and super funny,” Gilberto said. He said that Paul splits his time between Jordan and Andre’s parents.
“As you can see, we have a great outcome of people who just support my nephew,” Gilberto said.
Hundreds of El Pasoans and members of Muertos MC motorcycle club came out to show support.
“Today is special for him because he’s going to remember today that the community is still going to come together and be there for him. He’s not left alone,” Ernesto Delgado said.
Delgado and Joshua Hernandez were at the Walmart on August 3 and they say Paul’s birthday is emotional for them.
“This is our community. We grew up here. This is our hometown. So, I like to say El Paso is like family together,” Delgado said.
It’s been almost a year since Paul’s parents were taken from him, but family and friends said there will be a lot of love in Paul’s future.
“Baby Paul, you have your family here. I love you so much. I’m going to be the best uncle that you can have in this life. I will try to be a role model for you and happy first birthday, I love you,” Gilberto said.