“Is my dad dead?” the 5-year-old asked her grandmother.
For hours the family didn’t know, searching for facts of what had happened when police say a young white man started shooting outside and then inside a Walmart, killing 22 people and injuring two dozen more, CNN reports.
But yes, her stepfather — the man she called dad — was dead along with his wife. Skylin, the eldest of three children, had to be told. She responded with tears and a question about the killer: “Is he going to come and shoot me?”
Skylin is not alone, surrounded by the love of her remaining family. She has a younger sister, Victoria, and a baby brother, Paul Gilbert, 2 months old.
The baby survived the massacre when his mom, Jordan Anchondo, shielded him with her body when she was shot. His father, Andre Anchondo tried to protect them both, relatives said.
“The shooter had aimed at Jordan. And Andre jumped in front of Jordan. And the shooter shot Andre, and the bullets went through Andre and hit Jordan,” said Misti Jamrowski, Jordan Anchondo’s mom.
Paul lost both his biological parents. Torie and Skylin lost their mom and stepdad.
“The sad thing is, is that even with all of us … it’s Mom and Dad. We can’t replace Mom and Dad. It’s just something you can’t replace,” said Paul Jamrowski, Jordan Anchondo’s father, as tears rolled from his eyes.
Skylin wasn’t at the Walmart when the shooting occurred. She was at a cheerleading class while her parents took the baby shopping for school supplies for Skylin’s first day of kindergarten.