In a final and violent act of desperation, a 38-year-old mother in Texas bombarded herself in a welfare office on Tuesday after being denied food stamps. She took her own life and shot her two children before the stand-off ceased.
Rachelle Grimmer had recently moved her family to the Lonestar State and attempted to receive federal assistance this summer by applying for food stamps back in July, only to be denied. A spokesperson for the Health and Human Services Commission confirmed to the Daily Mail that Grimmer’s filing was incomplete and left her ineligible for aid.
Grimmer has been apparently continuing to appeal the decision up until Tuesday, when she had enough and brought her two children into the social service office in Laredo, Texas. At 5 p.m. she insisted on speaking with a supervisor before resorting to unleashing a handgun.
Authorities say that Grimmer threatened employees in the building for hours along with her two children. A local SWAT team was eventually able to free 30 hostages from the scene but her children and a departmental supervisor remained in the building for nearly three hours.
Laredo is only the latest home for the Grimmer family. They relocated there eight months earlier and before that had resided in a handful of towns across Texas since coming from Ohio in July. The application for food stamps stretches to 18-pages long, and would have required the mother to provide detailed information about her past residences, complicating the process.
Since the stand-off concluded, authorities have begun investigating her file. Not before, however, the event took a grave turn.
During a seven-hour standoff with authorities, Grimmer’s daughter, Ramie Marie, updated her Facebook with somber messages from the scene of the crime. Just before 11:30 pm, the 12 year old posted “tear gas seriasly” on her wall. Half an hour, earlier her status was simply “ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhahhhhhhhh.”
Five hours into the incident, Ramie added “may die 2day” as her place of employment on Facebook.Around four hours later, the stand-off had finally subsided after her mother committed suicide, but not before shooting her daughter and her 10-year-old son.
Joe Baeza of the Laredo Police Department tells reporters that they had been on the phone with the mother until around 11:45 attempting a negotiation, around four hours after the last employee hostage had been freed. Grimmer abandoned attempts at reasoning with the authorities, however, and hung up the phone. Baeza said police on the scene heard three gunshots moments later followed by the sobbing of children. Ramie and her brother were last reported to be in critical condition.