EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – Victims Specialists within the FBI continue to take special measures to ensure those affected by last year’s August 3rd mass shooting feel supported as the one-year anniversary approaches.
“It’s estimated that in response to that event during that time period, the team provided well over 8,000 services to the myriad of victims – the hundreds of victims that we came into contact with,” Jennifer Romero, Victim Specialists within the FBI’s El Paso Division, tells KTSM 9 News.
The role of a victim’s specialist is to serve as a liaison between the agency as it investigates crime and the victims.
“We provide referrals to mental health, educational, medical, immigration, and legal services. Whatever services that victim needs; we link them to those resources within our communities,” says Victims Specialist Kelly Murphy.
Following the August 3rd shooting, 31 Victims Specialists were sent to El Paso and provided more than 8,000 services to hundreds of victims and their families. The FBI says more than $60,000 in emergency funds to provide financial assistance as needed.
According to Romero, the victims’ services team provided on-scene assistance to victims and their families, as well as delivered death notifications, coordinated support for hospitalized victims, and set-up resources like the family assistance center inside the El Paso Convention Center.
“I think the city of El Paso really banded together in all ways, shapes, and forms to come together as a community to kind of really wrap their arms around everyone who was affected,” said Romero of the FBI’s relationship with the city after the shooting.
The FBI says it will not be issuing a formal statement regarding the anniversary of the shooting, in an effort to allow the community to take the lead.
“The first-year anniversary is very significant, especially to those who have lost loved ones, who were injured, who were present, and to the people who provided assistance to them,” said Romero.
“It really is an impactful thing.”