Texas mother who killed children caught with gun a year ago
A mother who shot her two children before killing herself in a south Texas welfare office last week had a gun while staying on a beach just south of Corpus Christi last year, according to a police report released Wednesday.
Rachelle Grimmer's children, ages 12 and 10, died days after her Dec. 5 standoff with authorities at a Texas Department of Health and Human Services building in the border town of Laredo, where her application for food stamps had been denied. State officials have said the application was rejected because Grimmer, 38, failed to submit proof of income.
Grimmer had food stamps and a New York driver's license last year when she was stopped with her children on a Gulf beach in coastal Kleberg County. At the time, Grimmer said her family was staying on the beach "as a learning experience," although she admitted the children were bathing at a local gas station, according to a September 2010 report filed by a Kleberg County sheriff's deputy and obtained by the Associated Press.
"I asked her why she had the weapon, Grimmer told me that she carried [it] for protection while traveling," Kleberg County Sheriff's Deputy Robert Wright wrote in the report. "The weapon was returned to her. Ms. Grimmer told me that they would be fine because they were just on vacation."
The report described Grimmer as edgy and paranoid. She apparently wasn't convinced the deputy was a law enforcement officer despite his uniform and became "abusive" when asked to show her driver's license, according to the report.
Later that day, the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services sent an investigator to interview Grimmer but ultimately did not intervene or remove the children from her care, the Associated Press reported.
Patrick Crimmins, an agency spokesman, told the AP on Wednesday that the investigator had verified that Grimmer had $700 in Ohio food stamps and claimed to be receiving more than $500 a month in child support.
"There are no concerns noted about the children in our documentation," Crimmins said. "They were fully clothed. Law enforcement documented they were registered for home-schooling through Ingleside [School District]. The family appeared to have adequate food."
--Molly Hennessy-Fiske in Houston