Mass shooting in El Paso spurs St. Louisans to think about victims and help those in need

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ST. LOUIS - Diana’s Bakery on Cherokee Street is known for their Mexican treats and desserts.   Customer Emmanuel Vasquez was shopping there Sunday morning but was also thinking about the mass shooting in El Paso, Texas.   He has family living in the border city.  He said his family was okay and could not stop thinking about how many people are grieving after 20 people were shot and killed and more than 2 dozen people were injured.

“You just kind of get a sense of maybe it’s just safer to stay home,” he said.

Investigators are considering hate crime charges and are examining a racist, anti-immigration document they believe was written by the shooter.

“It just makes you sad,” said customer Alain Molina.  “It makes you think what the world is coming to.”

Marie Kenyon will be heading to El Paso on Monday.  She is the director of the St. Louis Archdiocese Peace and Justice Commission and heads up an Immigration Task Force for the Archdiocese.  The trip was planned before the shooting.  It was a planning meeting for an upcoming mass taking place at the U.S. Mexico border later this year.  The visit will now include an opportunity to offer support.

“We’re commanded by our faith to take action,” she said.

Keynon said there are many ways to offer help to those in grieving.  She said help could include offering help with burials to providing food and making sure those affected receive counseling.

“We have to do more than just pray, we have to act,” said Kenyon.  “We have to, of course, take care of the direct needs of the people suffering but then we have to look at the big picture and see what needs to change systematically.”

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