The town of Sutherland Springs Texas is located between Stockdale and Lavernia, in Democratic Congressman Henry Cuellar’s district. Yesterday the congressman issued a statement condemning the incident and mentioning his own connection with the community, saying Sutherland Springs held a special place in his heart. Texas Standard spoke to Cuellar less than a day after the shooting.
On his connection to Sutherland Springs:
I’ve been representing that beautiful city for so many years – I think about 13 years, I’ve done parades there, I’ve been there for bake sales, to help the volunteer firefighters, I’ve been there many a times. And of course my office provides neighborhood office hours where we show up there and provide services once every month. In fact this morning my San Antonio office will be there to provide whatever assistance that we can provide, and I intend to be there at the end of the week.
On uncertainty about a motive for the shooting:
Right now it looks like it’s a lone wolf situation where somebody, for whatever reason, decided to target this church – not only this small beautiful community, very serene quiet community, where everyone knows each other – but at the same time a house of worship. Hopefully we will find a motive to why this individual did this. As you know, there have been situations in the past in other parts of the country where we don’t find that answer as to why.
On how the Sutherland Springs tragedy impacts the national debate about gun violence:
I’m sure we should have that discussion at a later time. Right now, we should be talking about how do we help these families and that’s what I am concentrating on. But you’re right. A lot of those small communities in Wilson County, outside of Bexar County – they become what we call “bedroom communities” in many ways. People go there, they live there, they want to raise their family away from some of the places that might be a little bit more dangerous. So they go to a place that’s safe and then when this happens it turns the world upside down.