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Former police chief Carlos Leon’s unexpected connection to family of Uvalde shooting victim

Makenna Elrod

EL PASO -- A former El Paso chief of police has a connection to the family of one of the Uvalde school shooting victims.

Carlos Leon, now a county commissioner, bought a Golden Retriever pup to give to his grandson.

He told ABC-7 that after the shooting, he called the family as gesture of somber solidarity. In a terrible turn of events, Leon discovered that the man who sold him the pup is the father of 10-year-old Makenna Elrod. Elrod is one of the 19 children killed Tuesday.

"I decided to call them just to see how that family was doing. Not thinking, not anywhere near in my mind it was one of their kids," Leon said. "When I called, I could tell by the father's voice that something has happened."

He says he was stunned to learn she was among the victims. Leon says he met Makenna two years ago when he bought the dog. Leon says she even helped him choose the right puppy for his grandson.

"We got out of our car and there was a little girl with a giant golden retriever puppy. And gave it to me. She said, 'This is yours. She is my favorite.'" Leon said. "The reason I'm telling you this story is because it's important to the people out there to realize that this little girl won't see a prom date. She will never see a wedding involving her. So many things she will never do."

He says the loss of Makenna is a tremedous loss for the Elrod family, the city of Uvalde and the nation.

Leon told Makenna's father El Paso is with him as both communities share the pain of a mass shooting.

Edwin Delgado

Edwin Delgado is an ABC-7 producer.

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