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With no family in town, husband of El Paso shooting victim invites public to funeral

A man who lost his wife in a mass shooting that killed nearly two dozen people in El Paso, Texas, last week is inviting the public to celebrate her life as he has no other family in town, a funeral home said Tuesday.

Margie Reckard, 63, was among 22 people killed Aug. 3 in the Walmart attack, which authorities say was carried out by a 21-year-old Allen man who wanted to target people of Mexican descent.

Her husband, Antonio Basco, is inviting anyone to attend the service Friday at Perches Funeral Home, the funeral home said in a statement.

Members of Reckard’s family will be coming from out of town, NBC affiliate KTSM of El Paso reported.

“We want to thank the people of El Paso because without them I don’t know what we would have done,” Reckard’s daughter-in-law Hilda Nuzzi told the station. “Everyone is amazing.”

KTSM reported that Reckard, who was born in Baltimore, had two sons and a daughter.

Basco told KFOX-TV of El Paso days after the shooting that he and Reckard have been together for 22 years.

“When I met her, she was an angel, and she still is,” Basco said. “I was supposed to be the strong one, but I found out I’m the weak one, and she’s going to be missed a lot.”

“When we first met, that feeling came to each one of us, to each other, and we’ve been together ever since,” he told the station. “We were going to live together and die together that was our plan.”

Harry Dean Reckard, told The New York Times that his mother had been battling Parkinson’s disease. After his father died in 1995, his mother found another partner, Basco, and the couple moved to El Paso a few years ago, Harry Dean Reckard told the newspaper.

“She didn’t get to see my kids as often as she would have wanted to, but she loved them, and she was loved by many,” Harry Dean Reckard, who lives in Omaha, told the newspaper. “She wouldn’t hurt a fly on the wall.”

The gunman accused in the attack used an AK-47-style rifle, and when he was arrested, he told police “I’m the shooter,” according to court documents unsealed Friday. Prosecutors have said they will seek the death penalty.

An overwhelming majority of those killed had Spanish surnames. The dead included seven Mexican nationals, 13 U.S. citizens and one German citizen, the city of El Paso has said.

Hours after the El Paso shooting, another gunman opened fire with an assault-style weapon in an entertainment district of Dayton, Ohio, and killed nine people. That man was killed by police.

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