A 25-year-old woman who was shot while shielding her two-month-old son was among the 20 people killed when a gunman opened fire in a crowded El Paso shopping centre, her sister has said.
Leta Jamrowski, 19, of El Paso, learned on Saturday afternoon that her sister Jordan Anchondo had been shot to death at Walmart while shopping for back-to-school supplies earlier in the day.
Ms Jamrowski spoke as she paced a waiting room at the University Medical Centre of El Paso, where her two-month-old nephew was being treated for broken bones as 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.”
Ms Anchondo was the mother of three children.
Ms Jamrowski spent the night desperately awaiting word of whether her brother-in-law, Andre Anchondo, had survived the attack that also wounded more than two dozen.
“They said that if he were alive, more than likely he would have gotten in contact by now,” Ms Jamrowski said.
In the hospital lobby, Mexican consular officials tracked the wounded and missing.
El Paso, which has about 680,000 residents, sits across the border from Ciudad Juarez in Chihuahua, Mexico.
Mexico President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said three Mexicans were killed in the shooting.
He tweeted on Saturday that he sends “condolences to the families of the victims, both American and Mexican”.
Beto O’Rourke, a Democratic presidential candidate and an El Paso native, held a news conference on a street corner opposite the hospital as the sun set, recounting his visit with wounded victims, including a woman who had a bullet pass through her lungs.
“I told them that I am so amazed at how strong they are,” the former US congressman said.
Ryan Mielke, a spokesman for University Medical Centre of El Paso, said 13 people were brought to the hospital with injuries, including one who died.
Two of the injured were children who were being transferred to El Paso Children’s Hospital, he said.
A total of 11 other victims were being treated at Del Sol Medical Centre, hospital spokesman Victor Guerrero said, ranging in age from 35 to 82.