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Wednesday
Dec072011

Girl Posted on Facebook During 7-Hour Welfare-Office Standoff

AbleStock/Thinkstock(LAREDO, Texas) -- A 12-year-old girl whose mother shot and critically wounded her before killing herself made several cryptic posts on Facebook during a nearly seven-hour hostage ordeal at the Texas Department of Health and Human Services office in Laredo.

"May die 2day," Ramie Marie Grimmer wrote on Facebook at 7:50 p.m. during the Monday-night standoff.

"i'm here for you guys. No reason to be afraid," Nancy Harrop, who the girl listed as her grandmother, replied.

"Im bored," came at 10:34 p.m.

Eighteen minutes later: "ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhahhhhhhhh."

And finally, at 11:28 p.m.: "tear gas ..."

Rachelle Grimmer, 38, pulled a gun on the welfare office supervisor, Roberto Reyes, and her two children out of her frustration at being denied food stamps. The office's other employees were able to safely evacuate the building, according to the San Antonio Express.

A SWAT team surrounded the building, and officers communicated with Grimmer throughout the ordeal.

But at midnight -- shortly after Grimmer hung up on police -- three shots were fired, causing the police to storm the building.

Rachelle Grimmer was pronounced dead at the scene, while Ramie and her brother, Timothy, 10, suffered critical head wounds and were transported to University Hospital in San Antonio, according to the San Antonio Express.

Grimmer's outburst was reportedly triggered after years of getting rejected for state assistance in various states, the newspaper reported. The family had recently moved to Texas from Ohio.

Stephanie Goodman, a spokeswoman for the Texas Department of Health and Human Services, told ABCNews.com that Grimmer hadn't been rejected -- she had just received a notice that her case was closed, since she did not provide all of the necessary documentation during the department's 30-day time frame.

"She absolutely could have applied again," Goodman said.

Neighbors said the Grimmers lived in a trailer about six and a half feet wide and 16 feet long.

"The children went barefoot to accompany her. They went four times, and four times she was denied. She was desperate, because she had nothing to feed her children," neighbor Oscar Luis Cuellar told the Laredo Sun. Goodman said employees at the Laredo office were struggling to cope in the aftermath of the shooting.

"They're very badly shaken. They go into this business because they want to help people," she said. "Even though it was processed according to our procedures, it does not comfort them at all."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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