EL PASO, Texas -- Police on Monday confirmed they have identified the mystery hero who carried an infant to safety during the Aug. 3 Walmart mass shooting.
Lazaro Ponce is said to be the man caught on security camera video and photos carrying out the baby, Paul Gilbert Anchondo, whose parents had just been shot, from the Cielo Vista Walmart store. He could be seen on video approaching a police officer with the infant in his arms.
Ponce came forward a week ago telling the El Paso Times that he was the mystery man who had been sought by police for months. Ponce told the newspaper that he and his wife are both homeless and have been moving from city to city doing day labor jobs and didn't know El Paso authorities were looking for him.
Police at the time said it was very possible that Ponce was the man in the video, and they were looking into his claim.
On Monday afternoon, the Times reported that the FBI had interviewed Ponce in Memphis, Tennessee and determined he was indeed the man in the security images.
Police tweeted confirmation a short time later, and elaborated on the man's heroic actions:
"The man in this photo has been identified. After saving an infant the man ran back into the store, gathered towels from shelves and went around from wounded to wounded packing wounds and applying pressure."
An FBI spokeswoman declined to comment on the agency's involvement or on the El Paso police tweet. Jeanette Harper said, “It is FBI policy to not confirm or deny the names of witnesses or victims of a crime. As this is still an ongoing investigation, we cannot comment further.”
The man in this photo has been identified. After saving an infant the man ran back into the store, gathered towels from shelves and went around from wounded to wounded packing wounds and applying pressure. https://t.co/JL8rV6KUpg— EL PASO POLICE DEPT (@EPPOLICE) January 27, 2020