Skylin Jamrowski, 5, had just received the worst news of her young life, according to CNN.
Her mother was shot dead in what police believe was a terror attack fueled by hatred for Latino immigrants.
“Is my dad dead?” Skylin asked her grandmother. The family didn’t know for hours, looking for facts about what happened when police said a young white man started shooting outside and then inside a Walmart, killing 22 people and wounding another two dozen.
Her stepfather also died along with his wife. Skylin, the eldest of three children, responded with tears and a question about the killer: “Is he going to come and shoot me?”
Skylin isn’t alone, surrounded by her remaining family’s love. She has a younger sister, Victoria, and a baby brother, 2-months-old Paul Gilbert.
The baby survived the massacre when he was shielded by his mother, Jordan Anchondo when she was shot. Relatives said his father, Andre Anchondo tried to protect them both.
“The shooter had aimed at Jordan. And Andre jumped in front of Jordan,” said Misti Jamrowski, Jordan Anchondo’s mother. “And the shooter shot Andre, and the bullets went through Andre and hit Jordan.”
Skylin and Torie lost their mother and stepdad. Paul lost both his biological parents.
“The sad thing is, is that even with all of us … it’s Mom and Dad. We can’t replace Mom and Dad,” said Paul Jamrowski, Jordan Anchondo’s father, as tears streamed down his face.. “It’s just something you can’t replace.”
Skylin wasn’t at the Walmart when the shooting happened. While her parents took the baby shopping for school supplies for Skylin’s first day of kindergarten, she was in a cheerleading class.
Her aunt Leta Jamrowski said if she asks Skylin to stay close, the little girl will ask why.
“She’s like ‘Is it because of the bad guy, is he going to come too?’ ” she said. “It’s sad because she just turned 5. For a 5-year-old to have to think that already is inhumane.”
The pain is slicing across the generations for the Jamrowski family. The sisters of Jordan Anchondo are struggling in their own grief.
Still, the elder Jamrowski has a plan. They have not been able to bury their lost loved ones yet but are committed to their faith and love—even for the accused gunman.
“We forgive him. We honestly forgive him,” Misti Jamrowski said. “We pray for him. We hope that he finds God because God teaches you to be loving.”