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Second child shot by Texas mother in welfare office standoff dies

Crime Scene tape is posted at the main entrance to the Texas Health and Human Services Offices in Laredo, Texas, Tuesday, Dec., 6, 2011. A Texas woman who for months was unable to qualify for food stamps pulled a gun in a state welfare office and staged a seven-hour standoff with police that ended with her shooting her two children before killing herself, officials said Tuesday. Authorities identified the mother as Rachelle Grimmer, 38, and children Ramie and Timothy. Laredo police investigator Joe Baeza said Grimmer had recently moved to the border city from Zanesville, Ohio, about 30 miles east of Columbus.
AP Photo/The Laredo Morning Times, Cuate Santos
This undated handout photo provided by Jamie Rodriguez shows Timothy Grimmer.
AP Photo/Courtesy of Jamie Rodriguez

(CBS/AP) SAN ANTONIO - The 10-year-old son of a woman who shot her two children and then killed herself during a police standoff at a Texas welfare office died on Thursday. His death came a day after his sister succumbed to her wounds.

Timothy Grimmer died Thursday evening at a San Antonio hospital after he was removed from life support, Laredo police investigator Joe Baeza said. His sister Ramie, 12, who authorities say was also shot by mother Rachelle Grimmer, died Wednesday night at the same hospital.

Their father, Dale Grimmer, spent time at his son's bedside Thursday before consulting with doctors and deciding to pull Timothy off of life support, said Mary Lee Shepherd, the children's grandmother.

"He spent hours with Ramie and finally had to let her go," Shepherd said. "He's just concentrating on saying goodbye to his children."

Their mother, Rachelle Grimmer, was found dead Monday inside a state welfare office in Laredo. Authorities say the 38-year-old killed herself after shooting her children during a seven-hour standoff with police.

The family had been living in a rundown trailer park, and Rachelle Grimmer had been seeking food stamps since July, shortly after they moved to Texas from Ohio. 

The state Health and Human Services Commission released a timeline on Thursday of its contact with Rachelle Grimmer dating back to July 7, when Grimmer submitted an application for benefits.

At that point Grimmer was told she would not qualify for "emergency benefits," in which documentation requirements are postponed, because she said she received child support that exceeded her expenses for rent and utilities.

A caseworker interviewed Rachelle Grimmer July 22 to see if she was eligible for benefits. She was told then that she must provide documentation of her income, in this case child support.

"We closed the case on Aug. 8 because we hadn't received proof of her income," agency spokeswoman Stephanie Goodman said in an email. "If we had that, it's quite likely she would have been eligible for benefits."

Ramie Grimmer's Facebook profile had been updated to read "may die 2day" just hours before the shootings.

The children's grandmother, Shepherd, said her former daughter-in-law had a history of mental illness and Dale Grimmer tried three times to have the children removed from her custody while they were living in Anaconda, Mont., and Ohio with no results.

"Many, many times he tried to tell people what was happening and nobody would listen," Shepherd said.

Texas Department of Family and Protective Services reported finding two cases Wednesday involving Grimmer and her children.

In the first case, reported on Sept. 15, 2010, the department received a possible neglect report after Rachelle Grimmer and her two children were found living in a tent on a South Texas beach. However,  investigators found no evidence of neglect, spokesman Patrick Crimmins said.

In a report made last June, Corpus Christi police said Rachelle Grimmer had come to police headquarters with her two children and reported that she had been a domestic violence victim. But officials determined the children were not at risk and took no further action, Crimmins said.

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