Victims' families offered help with the funerals still ahead

State victims fund, private companies ready as resources

SUTHERLAND SPRINGS, Texas – The families of the 26 victims killed in Sunday’s mass shooting at First Baptist Church are being offered help with the funerals still ahead.

Trying to not burden them with any out-of-pocket expenses, Audrey Louis, the district attorney for the 81st Judicial District, said she is working with local funeral homes, asking they not go above the $6,500 for each funeral from the Texas Crime Victims Compensation Fund.

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“They’re aware of the situation and they don’t want to re-victimize the victims,” Louis said.

Louis said that some of those same funds also are available to those wounded in the attack who are now facing medical expenses.


As for the funeral costs, Dick Tips, chairman and CEO of Mission Park Funeral Homes and Cemeteries, said not only will he donate caskets to any funeral home the families choose, if they use one of Mission Park’s 17 facilities, “We’re not going to charge them for the services or the casket itself.”

Tips said he will provide grief counselors and his staff can help with the paperwork for the Texas Crime Victims Compensation Fund.

If needed, Tips said he’s willing to assist any of the smaller funeral homes handling arrangements with additional vehicles or personnel.

Trey Ganem Designs in Edna near Victoria said it will provide customized caskets at no cost to the families.

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Both Tips and Ganem said they’ve already been contacted by some of the families of the deceased.

Continuing coverage on KSAT.com:

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New details about victims, gunman released in First Baptist Church shooting

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A look inside Sutherland Springs' First Baptist Church before mass shooting

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