Denver man’s stepfather killed in El Paso attack; mother wounded

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DENVER — The stepfather of a Denver man passed away Monday after being shot over the weekend during a mass shooting at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas.

FOX31 has confirmed Juan Velasquez died at Del Sol Medical Center in El Paso Monday morning. He was 77. His wife, Nicholasa, is still recovering.

Juan and Nicholasa were both shot outside of the Walmart store Saturday morning.

Alvaro Mena is Nicholasa’s son and Juan’s stepson. He says he traveled to El Paso as soon as he could with his niece. Both live in Denver.

“That’s their Walmart. It’s the Walmart they go to every time they go. When they pulled up, this lady was waving at them like, ‘Don’t go in there’,” said Mena.

Juan was hit in the stomach. The bullet damaged his intestines and his kidneys.

“They had already been shot when my grandma called my mom. They were calling saying it hurt, where they shot them, it hurt,” said Daisy Fuentes, the couple’s granddaughter.

A good Samaritan helped the couple onto a shopping cart and pushed them to first responders.

“We all just panicked. We were scared and crying. We didn’t know what to do,” said Fuentes.

Nicholasa was shot in the face and stomach but is in stable condition and is expected to survive.

Federal authorities said they are weighing hate-crime charges against the suspected gunman that could carry the death penalty.

The suspect has been booked on state capital murder charges, which also carry a possible death penalty.

Editor’s note: An earlier version of this story identified Juan as Alvaro’s father. Juan is actually Alvaro’s stepfather.

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