Thousands of strangers showed up to support Antonio Basco after his wife was killed in the El Paso mass shooting. They were moved to attend the woman’s funeral after Basco said they had no other family to attend and opened up the service to the public.
But while they were mourning, someone else stole and then vandalized Antonio’s car at his home in El Paso, leaving it a ruined wreck. Pictures showed that the car’s hood and windshield were smashed, and reports indicated that the car was left unusable after the act of vandalism.
As KVIA reported, the car was targeted just a few hours after the funeral services for the man’s wife, Margie Reckard. She was one of the 22 people killed when a gunman opened fire outside of a Walmart shopping center in what is being investigated as a hate crime against Hispanics.
After Reckard’s death, Antonio Basco had made a public appeal for anyone who might be interested to attend her funeral, saying that he was all alone with no family nearby. As the report noted, more than 3,000 people showed up to honor her life.
As NPR reported, the thermometer hit triple digits as she was laid to rest, but that didn’t stop the thousands of people who showed up to support Basco.
“Never had so much love in my life,” Basco said on the day of her funeral service.
As the report noted, some strangers traveled from as far as Los Angeles to attend her funeral. Some waited in line for hours to offer their condolences personally to Basco, and video from the service showed people lining up to hug the widower.
The funeral itself drew national attention, including live coverage from CNN and other news outlets.
Nearly two hours into the memorial service, the line of people waiting to pay their respects still stretches for several blocks. pic.twitter.com/X0RxvwxXxs
— Mallory Falk (@malloryfalk) August 17, 2019
The theft of Basco’s car was first reported by a towing dispatcher named Vanessa Kondow, who wrote about the incident in a Facebook post which appears to no longer be available. According to KVIA, she noted that Antonio had just paid to have the entire car serviced and repaired, and it was stolen sometime shortly after it had been returned to him.
“WTF is wrong with people!? He just buried his wife yesterday and now this s***,” Kondow wrote.
Kondow additionally noted that the thief also stole Basco’s pressure washing machine, which he reportedly used for a mobile car washing business.
As KVIA reported, a local car dealership said it would be helping Antonio Basco to get a replacement vehicle. Police have not said if they have any suspects in mind, or if the theft was a targeted act against the widower.