August 16, 2019 10:49 pm

El Paso funeral: 700 wait in the Texas heat to support man who invited everyone, reports say

WATCH: (Aug. 9) The suspect in the El Paso shooting confessed to police while he was surrendering and, according to an affidavit, said he was targeting Mexicans.

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It was about 38 degrees Celsius in El Paso, Texas on Friday night.

But the hot night wasn’t enough to stop hundreds of people from lining up to mourn at the funeral of El Paso shooting victim Margie Reckard, which took place at La Paz Faith Memorial and Spiritual Center, CNN reported.

WATCH: (Aug. 9) League of United Latin American Citizens calls for action against gun violence after El Paso mass shooting

As many as 700 people gathered to attend the service after Antonio Basco, Reckard’s husband, was left without any family following her death.

He had invited the public to attend — and so many wanted to come that the service was moved to a new venue.

READ MORE: The El Paso shooting took his wife, his only family. Anyone is welcome at her funeral

El Paso residents Victor and Mary Perales were among those who came to help him mourn, The New York Times reported.

The couple had lost their eldest son two years ago.

“I said we are going to this funeral to give him a hug and let him know we can be his family,” Victor said.

WATCH: (Aug. 8) Two El Paso families affected by mass shooting refuse to meet Trump


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Hila Hijazi, meanwhile, flew from San Francisco to El Paso so that she could attend, CNN reported.

“I didn’t want him to suffer alone. I didn’t want him to grieve alone,” she told the network.

READ MORE: El Paso man, who lost his only family in shooting, could see over 1,000 at wife’s funeral

She hopes to speak with Basco at the funeral so she can thank him.

“I thank him for showing us what love is,” she said.

“Showing us how to be strong. Showing us it’s OK to ask.”

When Basco arrived at the service, he was greeted by a crowd of people who sent him blessings in both Spanish and English.

“I love y’all, man,” he said.

WATCH: (Aug. 7) Angry protesters in El Paso take aim at Trump

Bishop Harrison Johnson is funeral director at Perches Funeral Home, where the service was initially set to take place.

He was nevertheless expected to deliver the eulogy at La Paz.

“My message is faith gets us through anything,” he told the Times.

“What do we do when loved ones die like this, violently? This is the time when people question God’s existence.

“My answer is we turn to Christ.”

READ MORE: El Paso shooting suspect, Patrick Crusius, confessed to targeting Mexicans — police

Friday didn’t mark the only service that will honour Reckard.

On Saturday, her funeral will take place at Restlawn Cemetery at 9 a.m. MT.

— With files from The Associated Press

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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