RIO GRANDE VALLEY, Texas- 22 families of the victims who lost their life in the tragic El Paso shooting will be laying their loved ones to rest within the coming days. Thursday night, Local 23 attended a vigil where we learned more about McAllen native, Leonardo Campos.
It was an emotional farewell as loved ones gathered to remember 41-year-old Leonardo Campos.
“He was a great role model, always pushing me to do the right things. He used to coach me and a bunch of my friends little league. So, everyone knows him as coach Campos,” said David Campos, Leonardo Campos’ youngest brother.
David Campos tells Local 23 Leo moved to El Paso about five years ago, and within that short time, touched the hearts of many, including his co-workers who still can’t accept he’s gone.
“I waited for my coffee every morning. It’s hard to go to work, it’s really, really hard to go to work,” said Cynthia Richardson, Leonardo Campos’ co-worker and boss at TriWest.
“He was just an unbelievable person. I can’t even explain in words what he meant to me. What he meant to TriWest. I know a lot of people are hurting,” said Michelle Montoya, another co-worker of Leonardo Campos at TriWest.
His mother and family were overwhelmed by the show of support from the El Paso community, finding comfort in those consoling them.
“Somebody from the Valley came to a different city and impacted so many lives which to me and my mom, it amazes us,” David Campos added.
But Leo never failed to let others know about his beloved hometown.
“He was very proud about McAllen. He would always talk about McAllen all the time and crack jokes. And, he was the life of the party, he loved to dance,” said Albert Hernandez, Leonardo Campos’ brother in law.
A life taken too soon, and a day his family wishes had never come.
“I was at home and they called my other brother and he broke down the news for my mom and I was there when he told my mom. It was just heartbreaking, his brother David shared. We see these types of things happen and you never expect it’s going to happen to you and suddenly it happens to you and it’s like a nightmare, and you can’t wake up from it.”
An amazing son, brother, husband, stepfather and friend.
“He was always someone I can turn to. Like a second father. That’s probably what I am going to miss most, missing his phone calls, added David Campos as he fought to hold back tears.
Campos’ family also tells Local 23 he was studying to be a teacher and planned on returning to the Rio Grande Valley to teach and coach young children.
Campos’ wife Maribel, also died in the Walmart shooting. She will be laid to rest this weekend.