Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Woman Who Denied Food Stamps Kills Herself and Shoots Her Children

A standoff at the Texas Health and Human Services Commission office in downtown Laredo, Texas ended in tragedy with a woman who killed herself and critically wounded her two children.

A 38-year-old woman who recently moved to Texas from Ohio went into the office and demanded to speak to a supervisor. As some point, the woman pulled out a handgun and began to threaten several employees.

According to Joe Baeza, an investigator with the Laredo Police Department, the woman "had issues and felt that she had been let down by social services in general."

The woman took an office supervisor hostage in a room in the office. A SWAT team was able to evacuate the rest of the office and clear the area.

After 2 hours of negotiations, the woman released the office supervisor. The woman remained in the room with her two children, a 10-year-old boy and a 12-year-old-girl.

At 11:45PM Monday, the woman hung up the phone with negotiators and three shots were heard. The woman had shot each child and then fatally shot herself. The two children were critically wounded and they were airlifted to a hospital in San Antonio, Texas.

The woman had arrived in Laredo about 8 months ago and had lived in various locations in Laredo. The woman had applied for food stamps in July, but was denied. According to Stephanie Goodman, a spokeswoman for the Texas Health and Human Services Commission, the woman's application was incomplete and they could not determine if she would be eligible for assistance.

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