EL PASO, Texas (AP) — A person who was seen on surveillance video saving a baby during last year’s mass shooting at a Walmart in Texas that killed 22 people has been identified as a then-homeless man who was living in a makeshift camp near the store, police said.
Surveillance footage showed a man carrying a baby to safety, but the man’s identity remained a mystery until recently, when Lazaro Ponce came forward, the El Paso Times reported.
El Paso Police Sgt. Enrique Carrillo said FBI agents interviewed Ponce on Monday in Memphis, Tennessee, where he now lives, and confirmed that he was the man seen on the video.
“Not only did he remove the baby from among the dead bodies — it could have suffocated— he ran out and turned the baby over to emergency services personnel,” Carrillo said.
“He ran back into the store and with a shopping cart went to the towel section and went around treating the wounded and applying pressure,” Carrillo added.
The attack took place Aug. 3 at a Walmart during a busy back-to-school shopping day.
Ponce told the newspaper that he helped the baby, a man in a wheelchair and an elderly woman who had been shot in the arm. He said he and his wife were homeless in El Paso at the time, staying in a makeshift camp near the Walmart.
The couple has since moved to Memphis, where Ponce is working as a laborer and staying on the property of a coworker, he said.