...By Dorcas Funmi for TDPel Media.
Two tragedies over the weekend have left 16 people dead and several others wounded in Texas.
On Sunday morning, a speeding SUV plowed into a group of migrants waiting at a bus stop in the border city of Brownsville, killing eight and injuring 10 others.
The victims were Venezuelan migrants, most of whom were men.
They were waiting for a bus after spending the night at a migrant shelter called the Bishop Enrique San Pedro Ozanam Center.
The driver, a man who has not yet been identified, ran a red light and sped off the road into the crowd of waiting migrants.
The killer also sustained injuries and was taken into custody, where police say he has been non-compliant.
Authorities are investigating the incident as a possible intentional massacre.
In response to an influx of migrants, primarily from Venezuela, passing through the region, the city of Brownsville indefinitely extended a state of emergency in a May 4 disaster declaration.
Responding to the killing, Bishop Daniel Flores of Brownsville, along with auxiliary bishop Mario Alberto Avilés, offered a Mass at the Ozanam Center Sunday evening.
The Ozanam Center works closely with Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley to offer shelter, care, and resources to migrants in need.
Flores said in a statement that 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.
Only a day earlier, eight more people were killed and several wounded in a deadly shooting in a Dallas suburb at Allen Premium Outlets.
The victims of Saturday’s shooting have been identified as young as 5, according to BNO News.
The killer, a man identified by authorities as Mauricio Garcia, was wearing a tactical vest and armed with a rifle and handgun.
Garcia was shot and killed on the scene by responding police officers.
Bishop Edward Burns of Dallas responded to the shooting in a Saturday statement, saying that he was deeply troubled by the shooting in the community of Allen and the senseless disregard for life that has occurred in their community.
He added that the Catholic community was in unity and solidarity with the families who have lost loved ones in this tragedy.
Burns said, “May God, our Heavenly Father, bring comfort and strength to all affected by this tragic event.
We must work for an end to the violence.
We must pray for peace within our communities.
And, we must have the courage to stand up to the forces of evil and the culture of death.”
These tragedies have left many people in Texas in mourning and have sparked conversations about violence and the treatment of migrants in the United States.
The Catholic Church has been working to provide support and resources to those affected by these incidents.
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