Health

The Kindness of Crowds in El Paso: People Line Up to Donate Blood to the Wounded in Texas Shooting

Perfect strangers stopped what they were doing on a summer Saturday morning to give back to others — to neighbors, friends, family and so many more

Out of horror, there is, thankfully, some good news.

People in El Paso, Texas, have been lining up to donate blood to their fellow citizens in the wake of a horrible tragedy early on Saturday in that besieged city. A mass shooting there now ranks among the worst such shootings in this country’s history.

Related: ‘Texas Grieves’: 20 People Are Dead, Roughly Two Dozen More Are Injured After Mall Shooting

“The bodies of those who died are still inside” the crime scene, Fox News reported late Saturday evening as investigators continue to handle the grim scene.

Yet the act of donating blood to perfect strangers — and giving up part of one’s weekend, on the fly, to do so — is enough to restore our faith in humanity after a despicable act of violence shredded a sense of calm on what had been an “ordinary” weekend day in the Lone Star State. Many families were doing back-to-school shopping ahead of a new school year.

After a 21-year-old lone male shooter — who is now in police custody — killed 20 innocent people with a rifle and wounded as many as two dozen or more other people at a Walmart in a mall in El Paso, the El Paso Police Department tweeted out a message about the need for blood donations once first responders arrived on the scene and assessed the situation.

“If I were in that state and nearby, I would absolutely donate blood to help the injured,” said a resident of New York to LifeZette on Saturday.

Every two seconds, someone in the U.S. needs blood, as a recent piece in LifeZette explained about the need for blood donations. The warmest months of the year bring out more drivers, according to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. And that means more accidents — obviously this doesn’t include such unexpected acts of violence as a mass shooting like the one in El Paso on Saturday.

“For comparison, one whole-blood donation is a pint, one of 10-12 in the human body,” an earlier LifeZette piece explained. “A victim of a car accident, however, might require 100 times that amount. Add in how much blood and blood products are needed for other surgery — or an illness that causes anemia, such as leukemia or kidney disease — and one can appreciate the need. Hospitals need roughly one pint of blood from 32,000 donors per day. Because blood is perishable, however, blood centers and hospitals cannot stock up for ‘later.'”

All across the country, Americans are pouring out their sympathy and saying prayers for the victims and the wounded. They’re also angry at what happened and shocked at yet another act of violence in this country.

Related: ‘Multiple Deaths’ Reported at Shooting in El Paso

And again, it appears to be a lone, young male who committed this horrendous violence against others.

Police are still investigating, and so far what’s known is that the shooter apparently left behind a “manifesto” that, in part, “explains” what he did. That emerged from a press conference earlier on Saturday.

But much still must be verified; it’s early going at this point.

See the following tweets about the tragedy on this “horrific and emotional day,” as a Fox News reporter put it — and say a prayer for all those killed and injured in this senseless act of violence on Saturday.

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meet the author

LifeZette's Editor-in-Chief Maureen Mackey helped launch the site from its earliest days and previously served as its managing editor. Prior to her time at LifeZette, she held senior editorial positions at several national publications and is a former book editor. Her work has appeared in many outlets including Real Clear Politics, CNBC, The Fiscal Times, A Fine Line, AARP Magazine, Reader's Digest, and Fordham Magazine. She is a member of the Newswomen's Club of New York and the American Legion Auxiliary. She can be reached at [email protected].

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