LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - The country continues to mourn after two shootings within 24 hours of each other this weekend that left at least 31 people dead in El Paso and Dayton, Ohio.
In Lubbock, one woman is mourning the loss of her brother who was one of the victims shot and killed inside the Walmart in El Paso. Texas Tech Health Science’s Center Physician Jennifer Mitchell lost her 63-year-old brother, David Johnson, in the shooting.
She and her family grew up in El Paso, a mile away from the Walmart. Her brother still lived in their childhood home.
Mitchell said her brother and his wife took their granddaughter to Walmart to buy school supplies when the shots rang out. She said he died protecting his family.
Her brother went to Walmart to have a fun day buying school supplies with his wife and 9-year-old granddaughter, but a lone gunman was also inside that Walmart with an AK-47 assault style rifle and began shooting wildly.
“I want to let everybody know that David was a hero," Mitchell said. “That is not a label that he would ever expect, but I want to let them, let the country, know what’s going on and what’s happening. I knew that I needed to step forward.”
Mitchell said she learned through family that Johnson risked his life to defend his family. At the time they knew he was shot, but through the chaos of the situation, they could not find Johnson anywhere.
“We didn’t know for the next 24 hours where he was. We couldn’t find him on any hospital listings and so we just suspected the worst until the family met with the FBI Sunday morning to find out that he was one of the bodies that had remained in the store overnight, because he was there is no chance for him," Mitchell said.
That was an outcome she said she never expected for her brother, but now she’s standing up for him.
“It’s still surreal. it’s hard to believe that I’ll never talk to him again," Mitchell said. "These mass murders are becoming are just choking out our country and we have to do something to get these assault weapons out of out of people’s hands.”
Now because of what happened she said she will never be able to look at the area in El Paso the same way again.
“It was a safe, fun place for kids to get away," Mitchell said. "I never imagined it would ever become a place with blood in the parking lot from mass shooting where my brother was actually murdered.”
Dr. Mitchell tells me she would be in El Paso with family right now but because of the ongoing investigation, the funeral for her brother won’t be for a couple for weeks.
“He would do anything for his family. That’s what happened the day that he died as he was protecting his wife and his granddaughter,” Mitchell said.