EL PASO, Texas - Mourners turned out Friday for the funeral of Andre Anchondo, who died alongside his wife in the El Paso Walmart mass shooting on Aug. 3 that claimed a total of 22 lives.
Bishop Mark Seitz of El Paso's Catholic Diocese presided over Anchondo's funeral mass.
Anchondo and his wife Jordan, who had already been laid to rest, apparently died while protecting their 2-month-old son from the hail of bullets. The baby survived.
Anchondo had recently turned his life around after struggles with drug dependence and run-ins with the law, a friend recalled.
Koteiba "Koti" Azzam had fond memories of him.
"I love the guy," said Azzam, who attends Texas State University. "He had the character and the charisma."
Azzam said 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 home for his family at the time of his death.
"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."