An El Paso non-profit organization is going to pay for the funerals of the 22 fatal victims of Saturday's deadly mass shooting at a local Walmart. Operation H.O.P.E. (Helping Other People Endure) spoke with press a day after the tragedy, revealing all costs would be covered for victims, including 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 told ABC.
He added, "As I say, this is how El Paso rolls — as one. We are one community."
Participating funeral homes include, PEOPLE writes: 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 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 the shooting, which also injured 27 people, is 21-year-old Patrick Crusius of Allen, Texas, a Dallas suburb more than 600 miles from El Paso. Authorities said he drove about 10 hours to the Cielo Vista shopping center, and surrendered to police officers shortly after they arrived on the scene.
He is being held on a charge of capital murder, according to court records. Josh Bash, the U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Texas, said Sunday that federal authorities are investigating the incident as an act of "domestic terrorism," meaning the suspect was allegedly intent on "coercing and intimidating a civilian population." Authorities have since labeled the attack a hate crime and said the shooter posted a manifesto online claiming he was targeting immigrants just minutes before opening fire.
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."
At least seven of the 22 people killed were Mexican nationals, and nine additional Mexicans were among the wounded.0comments
Addressing the shootings in a press conference at the White House Monday morning, President Donald Trump called them “an attack upon our nation and a crime against all of humanity.”
"In one voice, our nation must condemn racism, bigotry and white supremacy," the president said. "These sinister ideologies must be defeated. Hate has no place in America."