FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 6, 2017, 3:15 p.m.
“I am horrified by the shooting that took the lives of 26 worshipers at their church on Sunday (Nov. 6) and injured at least 20 others in Sutherland Springs in Senate District 21. This tragedy was especially sickening because the victims included children and because it happened in a place that is meant to be a sanctuary—a place of worship. I join residents of Wilson County and our state in praying for the victims, their families, and the community and in thanking not only the law enforcement officers, citizens, and first responders who risked their lives and rushed to the dangerous scene, but also the medical personnel from Connally Memorial Medical Center and other health care facilities.
“Texas Department of Public Safety troopers, Texas Rangers, Wilson County Sheriff Joe Tackitt and local law enforcement officers are collaborating with the FBI and ATF investigators to determine what triggered this horrific mass assault on innocent people. My family, staff, and I will help in any way possible.
“It is important that those impacted by mass shootings know they can reach out for support. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services operates a 24-7 bilingual disaster distress helpline (800/985-5990), which provides immediate crisis counseling to persons experiencing emotional distress after a traumatic event. What’s more, the Red Cross operates a disaster assistance hotline (866/526-8300, Option 3) and is coordinating closely with local and state officials and community partners to help support the community and victims’ families. My staff is in Wilson County today and also is available via 512/463-0121 to help connect SD 21 constituents with resources.
"Those seeking to help families impacted by the shooting can donate to the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs (http://ssfb.net/) or via two relief fund accounts being set up at Commerce Bank in Stockdale (https://www.commercebanktx.com/) or Wells Fargo Bank in Floresville (https://www.wellsfargo.com/locator/bank/538__10TH__ST_FLORESVILLE_TX_78114/).
"Blood drives will be held in Floresville at the following times and locations:
- Monday, Nov. 6, Connally Memorial Medical Center,1-6 p.m.
- Sunday, Nov. 12, Sacred Heart Catholic Church, 8 a.m.-1:30 p.m.
- Tuesday, Nov. 21, Connally Memorial Medical Center, 9 a.m.-1 p.m.
"Another will be held in Elmendorf on Sunday, Nov. 12, at St. Anthony’s Catholic Church, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. The South Texas Blood and Tissue Center in San Antonio also needs blood donations, especially type O and platelets (https://southtexasblood.org/).
“Mass shootings like this one have become too common, and it is well past time for our country and state to do more to promote mental health and to protect our families and our communities from gun violence and help prevent similar tragedies.”