EL PASO, Texas — Antonio Basco, the grief-stricken man who lost his wife of 22 years in the Aug. 3 El Paso massacre, buried her Saturday amid an outpouring of support from the public, only to have his SUV stolen and wrecked later that evening.
Thieves also stole a pressure washer that Basco used to make his living in a mobile car wash.
The good will nonetheless continued. On Monday, Basco drove off in a new Ford Escape, courtesy of Casa Ford Lincoln Nissan. Desert Haven Trailer Co. donated a new trailer. An anonymous donor also replaced his washing machine.
“I appreciate it. God bless you all. Thank you,” Basco told employees who stood in a circle to shake his hand and hug him.
Frail, heartbroken, and yet resilient, in many ways Basco embodies the spirit of El Paso in the aftermath of the tragedy.
Casa Ford Lincoln was live.
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“Despite what happened, the strong solidarity from the community goes on,” said Jason Quinn, a car salesman at Casa Ford and Nissan. “It’s a great honor and we’re very humbled by the fact that we’re able to help Mr. Basco. Our creed is to serve.”
A friend of Quinn’s told him about Basco’s situation Sunday. He and Basco had dinner Sunday evening at Basco’s favorite restaurant, Whataburger, where he shared his story while eating a double-cheeseburger with extra bacon.
“He’s so grateful with the support, despite what happened,” Quinn said. The theft, he said, “Opened the door for a new blessing.”
Basco’s wife Margie Reckard was among the 22 killed in the race-driven mass shooting at a Walmart by an alleged white supremacist from North Texas. The shooting suspect drove about 10 hours to kill Mexicans in response to the “Hispanic invasion” of Texas, he wrote in a manifesto. Dozens more were injured in the attack and many remain hospitalized.
Funeral officials say more than 3,000 people showed up last Friday during Reckard’s wake to express their solidarity with Basco, as well as her children and grandchildren, who traveled from Nebraska.
“I never imagined this,” her oldest son Dean, 48, said during the visitation. “The kindness is overwhelming. My mother would have been so overwhelmed.”