El Paso shooting: Trump slammed for grinning and giving thumbs up sign as Melania holds two-month-old survivor
The first couple were seen in a series of photos -- posted on Melania's official Twitter account -- meeting with victims of Saturday's carnage at the University Medical Center of El Paso
Melania Trump was photographed holding a two-month-old baby whose parents died in the El Paso shooting while shielding him from flying bullets.
President Donald Trump and the first lady were seen in a series of photos -- posted on Melania's official Twitter account -- meeting with victims of Saturday's carnage at the University Medical Center of El Paso on Wednesday, Daily Mail reports.
The baby, identified as Paul Anchondo, was seen in one of the images being held by Melania as the first couple were flanked by his relatives.
We love you Dayton, Ohio! pic.twitter.com/IaCZAdyuzL— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 7, 2019
The photo featured the president giving a thumbs-up as he was accompanied by Andre Anchondo's brother Tito and the baby's grandmother.
"I met many incredible people in Dayton, Ohio & El Paso, Texas yesterday," FLOTUS captioned the post. "Their communities are strong and unbreakable.@potus and I stand with you!"
However President trump came in for criticism over the picture that showed them smiling broadly while holding a baby.
"This is a photo of Trump grinning while Melania holds a baby orphaned by the shooting. A baby who was taken from home and forced to serve as a prop at a photo-op for the very monster whose hate killed her/his parents. I would need 280,000 characters to say how furious I am," Democratic strategist Greg Pinelo tweeted.
"I am genuinely confused and horrified by this image. Am I taking this the wrong way? Why is Trump and Melania posing, GRINNING, and giving a thumbs up with the infant who’s parents were murdered by the shooter in El Paso. Seriously… WTH is going on?" neuroscientist Bryan William Jones tweeted.
Paul, reportedly the youngest survivor of the El Paso shooting, is the two-month-old baby boy of Jordan and Andre Anchondo, both 25 and 24 respectively. Both parents died while shielding him from a barrage of bullets when alleged gunman Patrick Crusius opened fire at a Walmart, killing 22 people.
According to the report, Jordan and Andre were visiting the supermarket on Saturday afternoon to pick up school supplies and party decorations for their daughter's fifth birthday celebration scheduled to take place later in the day.
Jordan immediately shielded little Paul as soon as shots rang out across the Walmart, with her husband Andre jumping in to protect his wife.
While both parents were shot and killed, Paul sustained several broken fingers after his mother collapsed on top of him and was later pulled out from under her body. The infant was immediately rushed to a hospital to be treated and was later discharged.
Leta Jamrowski, Jordan's sister, confirmed her death Sunday afternoon and revealed the baby was undergoing treatment in the hospital. According to the report, Jordan has two daughters from a previous relationship, namely Skylin, 5, and Victoria, 2.
"From the baby's injuries, they said that more than likely my sister was trying to shield him," Jamrowski, 19, told the Associated Press. "So when she got shot she was holding him and she fell on him, so that's why he broke some of his bones. He pretty much lived because she gave her life."
The report states Andre had almost completed building a house for his family and that their relatives were going to see it for the first time at Skylin's birthday bash scheduled later in the day.
Jordan and Andre were married in July 2018. The latter had recently started a building business in El Paso, and made it successful through sheer hard work.
"She was his support system," Andre's brother Tito said of Jordan. "When he met Jordan, it gave him more reason to get on track with his life. He got his life in order."
Earlier this week, Jordan's devastated family said they had forgiven alleged shooter Patrick Crusius.
"The shooter had aimed at Jordan. And Andre jumped in front of Jordan," her mother Misti said. "And the shooter shot Andre, and the bullets went through Andre and hit Jordan."
President Trump and the first lady had earlier visited Dayton, Ohio, where another gunman Connor Betts killed nine people outside a packed bar. The two-day shooting nightmare over the weekend claimed over 30 lives and prompted fervent calls for tougher gun legislation.