Yes, it’s this real out here.
The state of Texas, which is constantly trying to trivialize mental health and criminalize welfare, became the scene of a horrific crime that stressed the importance of both in a civilized nation.
After being denied food stamp benefits, Rachelle Grimmer, 38, committed suicide in the Texas Health and Human Services Commission office in Laredo late Monday afternoon — after holding a supervisor hostage and critically wounding her two children, said authorities.
Investigator Joe Baeza of the Laredo Police Department, contends that Grimmer was obviously distraught, angry and disappointed that her case had been denied and that she walked around the office threatening employees with a handgun.
“She had issues and felt that she had been let down by social services in general,” Baeza told Reuters on Tuesday. “She was making all sorts of outlandish claims.”
Over three dozen employees and participants were present at the time of the incident, and a SWAT team was able to clear the building and the surrounding area. Unfortunately, not before Grimmer took a male supervisor hostage.
According to reports, the supervisor was allowed to go free after two hours of negotiations; but; it swiftly became clear that Grimmer, who was known to bounce from home to home since arriving in Laredo eight months ago from Ohio, had a more sinister agenda. Still barricaded in the office with her 10-year-old son, Timothy, and 12-year-old daughter, Ramie, negotiators at the scene report that at approximately 11:45 p.m. she hung up the phone — and it was mere minutes later when three booming shots sliced through the tense air.
“What had happened was that she had shot each of her children once and herself once, “Baeza said on Tuesday.
The children were listed as being in critical condition early Tuesday, after being air-lifted to a San Antonio hospital; their mother was pronounced dead at the scene.
“We’re still trying to track down exactly what happened with the case,” said Stephanie Goodman, a spokesperson for the Health and Human Services Commission, to Reuters. “As you can probably imagine, I think she had a lot of other issues she was dealing with as well.”
Counseling is being offered to employees who may have been affected by the shooting, and the tragic incident has made the state revisit how best to ensure the safety of their clients and employees. An unarmed security guard was the only protection on the scene.
– Kirsten West Savali