BROWNSVILLE, Texas – Victor Maldonado, executive director of the Ozanam Center, has explained how people can help the families of migrants mowed down at a bus stop by a motorist earlier this week.

“Those wishing to donate to help cover medical or funeral costs can do so here:,” Maldonado said.

Eight people were killed and at least ten others injured when a motorist driving an SUV plowed into a crowd in Brownsville, Texas. Those hurt or dead were residents of the Bishop Enrique San Pedro Ozanam Center, a non-profit organization that provides temporary shelter and housing to individuals who are unhoused.

Maldonado said:

“The staff and residents of the Ozanam Center are devastated by this tragic event. The individuals injured and killed are asylum-seekers. They came seeking refuge. They were staying at our shelter because they arrived in this country with very little.

“It’s unclear what led to this tragedy but we do know that the victims who were taken to the hospital will need help in the days to come dealing with the horrific event, as will the families of those killed.

“Some have asked how they can help. Our immediate needs include psychological counseling for witnesses and survivors, including children. The shelter has already received a number of hate messages; we are asking for the public’s support during this difficult time.”

Meanwhile, the Texas Border Coalition has issued its condolences. The group comprises cities and counties from Brownsville to El Paso.

David Stout, chairman of the TBC, issued the following statement:

“The Texas Border Coalition extends its deepest condolences to the families who lost precious loved ones when they were struck by an SUV in Brownsville yesterday. Our hearts also go out to the injured, their families, and everyone affected by this tragedy.

“We are thankful for the dedication of local law enforcement and medical personnel who serve the Brownsville community, as well as the first responders who raced to scene and saved lives.”

“This is a heartbreaking tragedy that has Brownsville and communities across Texas shaken and in search of answers. As law enforcement works to gather all the facts surrounding the incident, border communities feel enormous solidarity with Cameron County and its citizens, and we will continue to stand with them in the days and weeks to come.”

Bishop of Brownsville Daniel E. Flores issued this statement:

“We mourn and are shocked by the horrific loss of the lives of the seven immigrant men from Venezuela who were killed when a vehicle crashed into them this morning in Brownsville. And we pray for several others who were injured and are in serious condition. 

“This tragedy occurred this morning outside the Enrique San Pedro Ozanam Center, a place that has served the homeless and immigrants for decades. Over the past several months in particular Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley has worked closely with the Ozanam Center in Brownsville to help provide humanitarian aid to the immigrant population as they seek shelter while making arrangements to meet with their families further north. This is done as an assistance to, and with the cooperation of government authorities. 

“The safety, protection and assistance of the immigrant men, women and children who have been given permission to stay in the United States remains a priority for the Catholic Diocese of Brownsville and for our generous staff and volunteers at Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley. 

“We must resist the corrosive tendency to devalue the lives of immigrants, the poor, and the vulnerable. Let us take extra steps as a local community to care for and protect one another, especially the most vulnerable. 

“As we await a fuller report from law enforcement authorities, let us stop for a moment to mourn these losses of life and to pray. Pray for the victims, pray for their families and loved ones, and pray for our community. And after we pray, let us continue our common efforts to serve those most in need.”

Associated Press reporter Valerie Gonzalez said Brownsville police has a list of 120 people waiting to find out if their relatives were among the 8 people killed or 10 others injured Sunday.

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