A Texas mother shot her two children, who are currently in critical condition, then took her own life. This occurred at the Texas Department of Health & Human Services building in Laredo, TX. The woman had recently been denied food stamps. The You Tube video above makes most of the particulars clear.
Why I write about this is because I have to think about the desperate state this woman’s mind was in. She was upset about being denied food stamps, but there was obviously more to this than the food stamp straw that broke the camel’s back, so to speak.
To attempt to take the lives of one’s own children, a mother must be crazed and out of her mind. She has to feel there is no other way out. I have to wonder, how do people get into this condition in a society where we take running water and food we buy at the grocery store for granted? Why couldn’t she have appealed to her neighbors or the nearest church for help? Why couldn’t she get help from the nearest food bank?
Our society has become so disconnected from one another that we are unable to recognize when someone is in dire shape and needs our assistance. As Christians, this is unacceptable. We have to become more aware of that lady on the corner who is struggling with her children, all alone. We need to open up our eyes and not just plan to attend church on Sunday as a testimony of our love for Jesus Christ.
We need to begin to love our neighbor as we love ourselves. This was the second great commandment in the bible. It’s time we all begin to try and pay closer attention to it. Loving our neighbor as ourselves means that we open up our heart and share, give our money, food, possessions, or anything we can in order to help another. It means that we vote in such a way that the poor, elderly, disabled, and downtrodden are cared for.
So many these days claim Christianity yet sneer at the poor and the less fortunate. This isn’t Christ-like; there is nothing Christian about it. Please trust me on this, Jesus Christ does not approve! One day we will stand before Him and God the Father and have to account for why we voted as we did, and why we held money as an idol instead of sharing our bounty with those who sorely needed it.
The world we expect to behave with cold hearts, but Christians are to be beacons of hope, shining their lights for all to see. We need to look about us for those who are doing without, who are obviously suffering, who are alone and desperate. God will lead us to them if our hearts are right with Him.
I say this to myself, as I write this to you, the reader. I want to remind myself that it’s time to be Christian in deed, not just in word. We must make a difference in this life, while we have opportunity. Just think about it, please.
SAN ANTONIO (AP) — A Texas woman who for months was unable to qualify for food stamps pulled a gun in a state welfare office and staged a seven-hour standoff with police that ended with her shooting her two children before killing herself, officials said Tuesday.
The children, a 10-year-old boy and a 12-year-old girl, remained in critical condition Tuesday. The shooting took place at a Texas Department of Health and Human Services building in Laredo, where police said about 25 people were inside at the time.
Authorities identified the mother as Rachelle Grimmer, 38, and children Ramie and Timothy.
Grimmer first applied for food stamps in July but was denied because she didn’t turn in enough information, Texas Department of Health and Human Services spokeswoman Stephanie Goodman said.
Goodman didn’t know what Grimmer specifically failed to provide. In addition to completing an 18-page application, families seeking state benefits also must provide documents proving their information, such as proof of employment and residency.
“We were still waiting, and if we had that, I don’t know if she would still qualify or not,” Goodman said.
Goodman said Grimmer’s last contact with the agency appeared to be a phone call in mid-November. When the family entered the Laredo office on Monday shortly before 5 p.m., Goodman said Grimmer asked to speak to a new caseworker, and not the one whom she worked with previously.
Shortly thereafter, Goodman said, Grimmer was taken to a private room to discuss her case. She said it was there the mother revealed a gun and the standoff began.
Police negotiators stayed on the phone with Grimmer throughout the evening, but she kept hanging up, Baeza said. She allegedly told negotiators about a litany of complaints against state and federal government agencies.
Despite those complaints, Baeza said it wasn’t clear what specifically triggered the standoff.
“This wasn’t like a knee-jerk reaction,” said Baeza, adding that Grimmer felt she was owed restitution of some sort.
Grimmer let a supervisor go unharmed around 7:45, but stayed inside the office with her children. After hanging up the phone around 11:45, police heard three shots, and police entered the building. Inside, they found Grimmer’s body and her two wounded children.
The children were “very critical” and unconscious when taken from the scene, Baeza said.
Goodman credited an office supervisor, a 24-year veteran of the agency, for ensuring the release of the other employees.
“He had told her he would try to help her, and that if she would let everyone else leave, he would talk to her,” Goodman said.
Goodman didn’t know whether Grimmer had a job, or whether her children were covered under Medicaid welfare services or the state children’s health insurance program. The family had no history with the Texas Department of Child Protective Services.
Grimmer also appeared to fall out of touch during her pursuit of food stamps. The mother originally applied July 7, but Goodman said Grimmer missed her first interview and didn’t call back and reschedule for a few weeks. Her case was closed Aug. 8 for lack of a full application, Goodman said.
How much food stamp money a family receives depends on their income level. The average family on food stamps in Texas receives $294 a month.
Three months later, Grimmer called the agency’s ombudsman Nov. 16 and requested a review of how her rejected case was handled. Goodman said the agency found that caseworkers acted appropriately after looking over Grimmer’s file, and a supervisor called Grimmer’s cell phone last Thursday to tell her the outcome. No one answered and the phone’s voicemail box was full, Goodman said.
“The indications she had she was dealing with a lot of issues,” Goodman said.
State welfare offices have come under scrutiny in the past for being overburdened, but Goodman said the agency has made significant strides in the past three years. She said wait times are shorter, and that Grimmer was scheduled for her initial interview just one day after applying. Grimmer didn’t make the appointment, she said.
Goodman said it’s not unusual for caseworkers to confront angry or confused benefit-seekers, but that it’s very rare for a situation to escalate to violence.
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