Antonio Basco’s car was stolen and wrecked on Saturday, just hours after he hosted thousands of strangers at a funeral for his wife, who died in the El Paso mass shooting.
But just as thousands came together to honour her life on Saturday, they came together again to get him a new set of wheels.
Basco and his wife Margie Reckard shared a blue Ford Escape. Someone stole that vehicle and wrecked it a few hours after Reckard’s funeral on Saturday, leaving many in the community heartbroken for Basco all over again.
But when people learned what happened to Basco’s car, they banded together again to ask a local dealership to come through for him.
“We caught news of his vehicle being totaled and it was a natural extension for the same folks who helped the first time to call and text asking what we could do,” Ronnie Lowenfield, co-owner of Casa Ford Lincoln, told BuzzFeed News.
“We had a blue Ford Escape in stock,” he told the publication. “So we donated it to him so that he could have a mode of transportation and still have a connection to his wife.”
WATCH: El Paso husband welcomes thousands to wife’s funeral
Reckard was one of 22 who died in a mass shooting on Aug. 3 at a Walmart in El Paso.
Basco can be seen accepting the keys to his new car in footage shared by Casa Ford Lincoln.
“You don’t know how much this means to me,” he told employees gathered to share the moment.
Basco had been living in his car since his wife passed, BuzzFeed News reports. He lived and slept in it without air conditioning to be near his wife’s memorial at the Walmart where the mass shooting took place.
After losing his wife, Basco was left without any close family nearby.
So the 61-year-old invited “everyone” to attend her funeral, where he spoke to over 3,000 people about what his life was like with “his world,” his wife.
Community member Vanessa Kondow shared photos of the vandalized car to the Proud El Pasoans Facebook page, along with a caption that read: “Mr Antonio Basco’s vehicle was stolen and wrecked last night. My husband towed it back to his house this morning.”
“He told my husband that whoever took it also stole a pressure washing machine from a small trailer he used to use for mobile car washing.”
Kondow encouraged people to share the post widely in hopes of catching the culprit and finding some help for Basco
Her efforts were clearly not in vain.