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Officials: Mom who shot her 2 kids was denied food stamps

Cuate Santos / AP

Officials say Rachelle Grimmer, 38, pulled a gun and staged a seven-hour standoff with police that ended with her shooting her two children in the Texas Health and Human Services building in Laredo, above.


LAREDO, Texas - A mother who shot and critically injured her two children and then killed herself had for months tried unsuccessfully to qualify for food stamps, Texas welfare officials said.

The woman, identified as Rachelle Grimmer, 38, 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 told The Associated Press Tuesday.

"She originally applied for the stamps on July 7," Goodman said, according to the Zanesville Times Recorder. "We scheduled an interview by phone with her, but couldn’t reach her after repeated attempts."

The children, a 10-year-old boy and a 12-year-old girl named Ramie and Timothy, remained in critical condition on Tuesday. The shooting took place at a Texas Department of Health and Human Services building in Laredo. Police said about 25 people were inside at the time.

Goodman told the AP she didn't know what documentation Grimmer specifically failed to provide. In addition to completing an 18-page application, families seeking state benefits also must provide 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.

Grimmer, formerly of Crooksville, Ohio, had moved to Laredo around nine months ago, Laredo Police Investigator Joe Baeza told the Zanesville Times Recorder.  The children apparently were home-schooled, he added.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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