The man who called the world to his wife’s funeral after the El Paso shooting: NPR


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Pictures depicting Antonio Pasco attending his wife’s funeral in 2019 appear on TV at a funeral home in El Paso on Friday. Pasco, who won worldwide sympathy and support after his wife Marge Ricard of 22 years, was killed in a mass shooting at El Paso Walmart in 2019, and died on August 14.

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Pictures depicting Antonio Pasco attending his wife’s funeral in 2019 appear on TV at a funeral home in El Paso on Friday. Pasco, who won worldwide sympathy and support after his wife Marge Ricard of 22 years, was killed in a mass shooting at El Paso Walmart in 2019, and died on August 14.

Andres Leighton/AFP

El Paso, Texas – A man who won Sympathy and support around the world After his wife was killed in a Mass shooting in the border city of El Paso, Texas Friday is remembered as kind and thoughtful – and haunted by the loss of the woman he loved.

A few dozen people attended the memorial service for Antonio Pasco, 63, who died on August 14, just over two years after his wife, Margie Ricard, was killed, along with 22 others by a single gunman who authorities say targeted Latinos in the attack that stunned the United States. and Mexico.

Ricard’s funeral in August 2019 drew thousands of people from as far away as Arizona and California and across the border in Mexico, after Pasco declared himself alone with almost no family and invited the world to join him in remembering his 22-year-old companion. Few in the audience met Rijkaard at all.

Flowers poured in, and an SUV was donated to Basco, who had been making a modest living washing cars and other odd jobs. On the day of his wife’s funeral, a crowd of strangers lined up around the building to pay their respects.

Pascoe, a fickle wireman, hugged one visitor after another with open arms for several hours.

It was an outpouring of raw emotion and love at the twenty-second funeral after the attack. One final victim will die of his wounds nine months later.

Jose Luis Ozona and Leticia Bernal pay their respects to their friend Antonio Pasco during his funeral on Friday.

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Jose Luis Ozona and Leticia Bernal pay their respects to their friend Antonio Pasco during his funeral on Friday.

Andres Leighton/AFP

Friday’s funeral amid the pandemic drew a small number of visitors to a cavernous chapel. Among them were the elderly care worker who took care of Pasco in his last days and a retired veteran who loved Pasco without ever meeting him.

Many of them were associated with Pasco through the tragedy of his wife’s death.

Jose Luis Ozuna, a local retiree, said he and his wife Pasco met at a temporary memorial to the shooting victims on August 3, 2019, and that Pasco made an impression. Ozuna said Pascoe always put others first.

So the last time Ozuna saw Pasco, who was crying as he struggled to cash a $300 check without ID, Ozuna said he recorded the checkout.

“We had a real good bond,” Ozuna said. “He was a very loving person.” “We lost track of him because he lost his phone.”

Adria Gonzalez, an El Paso native who was inside a Walmart during the attack, said she watched Pasco deteriorate mentally and physically in the months following his wife’s funeral, amid a struggle with alcohol.

Pascoe was arrested and imprisoned in late 2019 for driving under the influence of alcohol.

“He said he missed his wife, and it wasn’t the same,” Gonzalez said.

Judith Quinones, a hospice worker, said Pascoe’s friends visited them regularly because his health failed, but she was also haunted by loneliness without his wife.

“He wished his wife weren’t dead,” Quinones said. “He didn’t want to die this way.”

Pasco died months after battling cancer after a late diagnosis, according to Roberto Sanchez, a local attorney who handles his estate.

Sanchez described Pasco as a wanderer who was born and raised in Louisiana before setting out on an unspecified journey.

“I think I’d probably call him Jack Kerouac nowadays,” Sanchez said, referring to the author who wrote the classic road trip novel “On the Road.” “He was moving from city to city in search of work. And when he found the love of his life, he made El Paso his home.”

Reverend Jackie Johnson described Pascoe as a liberated spirit and released a spirited soul: “There will be no more crying, no more wailing.”

Jose Luis Ozuna looks at pictures of his friend Antonio Pasco.

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Jose Luis Ozuna looks at pictures of his friend Antonio Pasco.

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“He wouldn’t let anyone tell him how he could move or where he could move, but he was a free spirit who respected people,” Johnson said.

High above church benches, video screens flash images of the busy 2019 funeral rites for Reckard and the sprawling roadside memorials for the shooting victims.

Pascoe lived to see the dedication of a permanent memorial to the victims – a plaque and metal tower evoking a candle standing outside the store where the attack took place.

accused man In carrying out the attack, Patrick Wood Crusius faces state capital murder charges and more than 90 federal hate crimes and firearms charges.

The shooting took place on a busy weekend day at a Walmart store usually popular with shoppers from Mexico and the United States.

Authorities say Crusius aimed to intimidate Latinos and get them to leave the United States, driving from his home near Dallas to target Mexicans after a racist rhetoric was posted online. Crusius pleaded not guilty and his attorneys said their client had been diagnosed with mental disabilities.


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