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UMC El Paso surgeon gives graphic testimony on treating Walmart shooting victims to Congress

The U.S. House Judiciary Committee held a hearing Wednesday on “Protecting America from Assault Weapons.” During the hearing, the University Medical Center of El Paso surgeon who operated on some victims from the Aug. 3, mass shooting testified.

During his testimony, he recalled that day and the moment he arrived at the hospital.

Dr. Alejandro Rios-Tovar testified he had just gotten home after finishing a 30-hour shift when got a message to get to the hospital.

By the time I arrived, each of our 6 trauma bays had patients, each needed surgery,” said Dr. Rios-Tovar. He added, “The one that drew my attention was the patient with CPR in progress, she had been talking just a few minutes before, and now from a shoulder wound, she was lifeless.”

Dr. Rios-Tovas recollection of this patient matches the story of 23-year-old Jordan Anchondo, a victim of the shooting.

“She was protecting her child, so she was shot in the back and in the shoulder. She had a hole the size of a baseball at the top of her lung, her subclavian vessels were non-existent. If her injury would have been caused by a smaller firearm, she may have had a chance at survival, but there was absolutely nothing I could do to fix that devastating injury. I hope that she died knowing she protected her child from the same fate,” Dr. Rios-Tovar testified.

The doctor said that story haunts him every night, and he wished he could have done more and blames himself for her death.

KVIA 2019

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