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'That's who my baby was': Family of Texas Army National Guard soldier who died trying to save migrants describes him as selfless hero

The grandparents who raised Texas Army National Guard Specialist Bishop Evans said they were not surprised to learn that he died while trying to rescue others.

ARLINGTON, Texas — The Johnson family stood together in front of the family’s Arlington home Monday. 

They tried to comfort each other through their pain.

On Monday, officials confirmed they recovered the body of Texas Army National Guard Specialist Bishop Evans

Evans died while trying to rescue two migrants who appeared to be drowning in the Rio Grande last week. 

Monday, the family gathered for a press conference. His grandmother, Jo Ann Johnson told WFAA she wasn’t surprised to learn that the grandson she raised died a hero.

“He wouldn’t ask you who you were before he tried to help you. He just wouldn’t,” Jo Ann Johnson  said. “It doesn’t matter your nationality, how you look, your color hair. That’s who my baby was.” 

The family returned to their Arlington home after they traveled to assist in the search. 

“It has been very tough to say the least, because the whole not knowing,” Johnson said. “The searching part has been very hard to withstand.” 

Evans’s grandparents said they have some form of closure after learning that his body was recovered.  

“We can move forward, we can start healing and the family can grieve and then we can move on,” Johnson said. 

For nearly four days, helicopters and boats surrounded the Rio Grande as they searched for Evans.

The 22-year-old soldier from Arlington was stationed in Eagle Pass, which is about two hours north of Laredo. Evans was among thousands of guardsmen at the border for Governor Greg Abbott’s Operation Lone Star.

His family described Evans as a selfless person who always wanted to serve. He attended Mansfield High School, where he was a member of JROTC. Evans loved anime and family game nights.

“Bishop loved to dance, so I’ll miss that,” Johnson said.

Their hearts are hurt, but instead, they want to focus on love. The family only asks for prayers as they try to heal. 

His grandfather, Dannie Johnson fought back tears as he talked about his grandson. 

“He would help you in need. He would die for you, he did die. He’s going to be missed and always be loved and carried in our hearts,” Dannie said. “We want to be positive about Bishop, because he was a positive person, and I would like to leave it at that.”

To his loved ones, he was always a kind-hearted helper, and now everyone knows it.