Friday, December 9, 2011

Ramie Marie Grimmer's Brother Timothy Dies After Being Taken Off Life Supports

Timothy Grimmer
Photo courtesy of Jamie Rodriguez/AP

Ramie Marie Grimmer

Photo: Facebook

Rachelle Diane Grimmer

Undated family photo

Second child dies after succumbing to fatal wounds to the head.

By H. Nelson Goodson
December 8, 2011

Laredo, Texas - On Thursday evening, Timothy Grimmer, 10, succumbed to a fatal head wound after being taken off from life supports, according to family members. His father Dale Grimmer after talking to University Hospital doctors decided to take him off the life support machine.
Timothy had been shot in the head by his mother, Rachelle Diane Grimmer, 38, on early Tuesday at a Texas welfare office in Laredo.
On Wednesday, Ramie Marie Grimmer, 12, who was also shot in the head by her mother on Tuesday during a standoff over food stamps at a Texas welfare office in Laredo died. Ramie died at 8:00 p.m. on Wednesday at the University Hospital in San Antonio, Texas.
Ramie and her brother, Timothy were both shot in the head shortly before their mother took her own life with a handgun. Grimmer arrived with her two barefooted children at the Texas Department of Health and Human Services office in Laredo around 5:00 p.m. on Monday to try and get food stamps. She pulled out a .38 Caliber handgun and took welfare supervisor Roberto Reyes hostage in a small office. The rest of the employees and welfare clients were able to leave the area without any incident. Reyes was later released shortly after 7:45 p.m., according to police.
During the seven hour standoff with police at the welfare office, Ramie began to post on her Facebook account. At 7:30 p.m., Ramie posted "May die 2day" 10:30 p.m. she posted, "Tear gas seriously"... by 10:34 p.m. her last post was "I'm bored."
Laredo police on early Tuesday heard three gunshots go off and the the S.W.A.T. team rushed inside. They found Grimmer with a self inflicted gunshot wound to the head. They also found Ramie and her brother shot in the head. Grimmer died at the scene. Police recovered around 50 rounds for a .38 Cal. handgun inside the office building. Both Ramie and Timothy were transported to the University Hospital in San Antonio for medical treatment.
Their father, Dale Grimmer who had been divorced for 6 years was able to travel to San Antonio to see his children at the hospital.
Grimmer had applied for the program since July shortly after arriving from Zaneville, Ohio, but had not completed the requirement to complete the paper work, which included an 18-page application. Grimmer needed to provide some additional documentation and had expired her time allowed to apply and the case had been closed. The Grimmer family were originally from Lost Creek, Montana.
Grimmer first applied for welfare on July 7, then she missed her July 8, appointment. An appointment was rescheduled for July 22. On August 8, Grimmer's food stamp case was then closed and a noticed was sent to her. On November 22, Grimmer then contacted the welfare office to have her case reconsidered. She could have reopened it by reapplying again, according to Stephanie Goodman, Spokesperson for the Texas Department of Health and Human Services.
Goodman says, Grimmer was denied food stamps and public welfare emergency aid because she didn't provide proof of child support payments. She actually filled out a section of the application that her child support payments were greater than her rent and utilities combine, according to Goodman.
She had gone to the welfare four times and four times she didn't get any type of help or any emergency aid, which most likely drove her to become real desperate about feeding her children. Grimmer was unemployed, but the welfare office in Laredo has approved food stamp allocations to employed people who meet the minimum guidelines to receive benefits. Grimmer wasn't helped or offered alternative options and wasn't referred to any local food pantry by social workers. It might not be their job to do so, but should have at least offered options to getting her help, according to neighbors who live near Grimmer.
Authorities tried to convince Grimmer into believing that Reyes had personally approved food stamp benefits dating back to July totalling more than $3,000 and even presented her with the approved document signed by welfare supervisor Reyes, according to police. Grimmer might not have believed Reyes or police and decided to take her life, including ending the life of both her children.
The San Antonio Express-News reported that in the Webb county area, nearly 30 percent of Laredo's 250,000 population live under the poverty line and the Webb County per capita income averages less than $13,800. An estimated 3.7 million people in Texas are getting food stamps, but about $40 million of unused food stamp benefits are returned each year to the feds. People seeking benefits for food stamps have to fill out an 18-page application, which sometimes people just forego the application process and don't apply.
Laredo has about 60 food pantries around the area operated by the South Texas Food Bank, which Grimmer didn't asked for help. The welfare office was about five miles from where Grimmer lived and without a working vehicle, it was difficult for Grimmer to get around. She would around asking for left over food from nearby restaurants after they closed, according to neighbors.
An investigation has been launched to learn what led Grimmer to act and why social workers with the Texas welfare office based in Laredo didn't actually check Grimmer's living conditions before making her wait for help? State Representative Richard Raymond who Chairs the Texas Health and Human services committee confirmed the State of Texas has initiated an investigation.
Neighbors who live near the Grimmer's told Pro8News dot com that the family was living in extreme poverty and needed help desperately. Grimmer would rarely cook because she hardly ever had any food to cook. A nonfunctional refrigerator and stove were located outside an RV at the Towne North Mobile and RV Park where the Grimmer's were living in northern Laredo.
Janie Rodriguez, the manager of the RV lot confirmed, that Grimmer paid $400.00 per month to rent a lot for her RV. Rodriguez believes, Grimmer was paying rent from child support payments.
Some neighbors had tried to donate free items of food, but Grimmer would barely accept anything free. Neighbors are alleging that the state welfare social workers should have checked the Grimmer's living conditions before making them wait for help from the state.

Ramie Marie Grimmer postings on Facebook.

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