Funerals for Walmart Shooting Victims Will Be Free, Says Non-Profit: 'This Is How El Paso Rolls'
Angel Gomez, of Operation H.O.P.E. (Helping Other People Endure), told ABC on Sunday that all costs will be covered, including those for Mexican nationals.
“We have 22 victims. We will be providing their funeral services, not only in the El Paso area, but we’re going to be sending the bodies once they get embalmed to Juarez, Mexico, Torreon and Chihuahua. And this is all done at no cost to the families,” Gomez said.
He added, “As I say, this is how El Paso rolls — as one. We are one community.”
The El Paso Times reports that participating funeral homes include: Evergreen East Funeral Home, Mt. Carmel Funeral Home, Sunset Funeral Homes, Perches Funeral Homes, Martin Funeral Homes, Restlawn Funeral Homes, Crestview Funeral Homes, Hillcrest Funeral Homes and San Jose Funeral Home.
A Facebook post announcing several partnerships on the Operation H.O.P.E. Facebook page reads, in part, “We are all about team work. We are never able to do things alone. We are truly fortunate so many El Paso agencies are coming together to show their love and support through this difficult time.”
The suspect in Saturday’s shooting, which also injured 27 people, is Patrick Crusius, 21, of Allen, Texas, a Dallas suburb more than 600 miles from El Paso. Police said the suspect drove about 10 hours to the site of the shooting and surrendered to responding police officers.
Authorities have labeled the attack a hate crime and said the suspect posted a manifesto online railing against immigrants.
At a Saturday press conference, Congresswoman Veronica Escobar said, “El Paso has historically been a very safe community. This is someone who came from outside our community to do us harm.”
The New York Times reported earlier this year that El Paso, a city with a population of about 650,000, has consistently had a lower crime rate than cities of a similar size, according to FBI data.