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Mystery hero calls accused Walmart shooter a ‘coward who deserves to get the death penalty’

EL PASO, Texas -- The now-identified mystery hero seen on surveillance video saving a baby during last year's mass shooting at the Cielo Vista Walmart calls the accused gunman a "coward who deserves to get the death penalty," in an interview with ABC-7 on Wednesday night.

Lazaro Ponce, recently identified by the FBI as the man seen in the surveillance footage carrying little Paul Gilbert Anchondo to safety, said he told the infant's fatally wounded mother, "look let me at least get the baby out."

After handing the young child over to police, Ponce said he went back inside the store to help two other people - a man in a wheelchair and an elderly woman who had been shot in the arm.

He said he and his wife were homeless in El Paso at the time, staying in a makeshift camp near the Walmart, where they were grabbing coffee on the morning of Aug. 3 when the gunfire erupted that killed 22 people.

Ponce said when he first saw the shooter, "all the people were running --this man was already killing people."

Ponce and his wife have since moved to Tennessee, where Ponce is working as a laborer and staying on the property of a co-worker in Memphis, he said.

But Ponce told ABC-7 he's just a phone call away and would gladly return to El Paso to testify against the alleged shooter, 21-year-old Patrick Crusius, in court.

"What he did in there, he was a coward," Ponce said in the interview. "I want this man to get what he deserves, (and) he deserves to get the death penalty."

Crime / News / Top Stories / Video

Shelby Montgomery

Las Cruces native Shelby Montgomery is an ABC-7 reporter who also co-anchors Good Morning El Paso weekends.

Jim Parker

Jim Parker is the Director of Digital Content for ABC-7.



  1. The white Crusius is a little manipulated Bit?!h. The likes of gee dubb and madmike and his anomaly followed. Eff him, his family, his breed, and his momma. Garbage people. Weak.

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