EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — A memorial honoring victims of Saturday’s mass shooting is now adorned with wooden crosses handmade by a man who traveled from as far away as Chicago.
“These are angels, because they’ve been murdered, and they’re gone, unanticipated death,” said Greg Zanis, who made the 1,500-mile trip with at least 20 crosses in his truck.
The memorial has been growing outside the Cielo Vista Walmart, where Patrick Crusius, 21, allegedly gunned down 22 people and wounded another 24.
Some of the crosses were blank on Monday morning, others marked with the names of known victims, like Andre and Jordan Anchondo, who shielded her 2-month-old from a hail of bullets. The couple in their 20s.
Zanis has delivered crosses to other communities that have been the targets of mass shootings and other tragedies, and he, too, has been impacted by gun violence. Zanis said his father-in-law was shot and killed 20 years ago.
“But I’m not going to sit and cry,” Zanis said. “I’m going to do something about it. I’m going to bring awareness.”
As he tries to offer some comfort with this touching tribute, he’s also offering some words of advice about how our community should respond.
“It’s not this city, it’s not this state, it’s not this country. We’re America strong. We’re grieving and doing this together,” Zanis said. “Love is the only answer. It’s missing a lot.”
Zanis said he most recently delivered crosses to New Hampshire, where seven motorcyclists were killed in a violent crash. He also traveled to Paradise, California, where wildfire killed nearly 100 people.