LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - A group is touring through Texas, hoping to show support to the first responders and survivors of the mass shooting in El Paso earlier this month. The group, called Ride To Heal Our Brothers And Sisters, stopped at Market Street on 50th and Indiana Wednesday and were escorted in by Lubbock Police Department. First responders and the community was invited out to sign Texas flags. Those flags are going on a 1,200 mile-7 day tour though the Lone Star State and will end up in El Paso on Friday.
Michael Gomez is one of the people who started this effort. He’s a former paramedic who suffers from PTSD after another mass shooting in Texas. He says he knows what the first responders are going through.
“I was a part of Southern springs, I responded to Southern springs, I was a third unit on scene there. And it affected me, you know, the entire time, it still affects me” said Gomez.
He hopes he can help the first responders in El Paso deal with the tragedy.
"I hope that they get what they've not just still to this day--support, respect and acknowledgement,” said Gomez, “(that) People will look at them and say, they're not just heroes to those they help-their human. They have feelings, they have emotions, we fail. You know, it's not the people we save that bother us-that we think about-it's the ones we can't."
The flags will be on display in El Paso for the community to see. Then after, Gomez will talk to the first responders.
“later on that evening, we have a very private informal debriefing where first responders from around that area are going to meet us in an area and we’re going to talk and it’s going to be no holds barred. It’s going to be what they need to hear” said Gomez.
It’s not just the Texas communities that want to show their support; other first responders, police and fire departments across the country donated signed flags as well.
“Las Vegas got together, and they went to their fire departments. and they said we’re going to sign a flag as well. So, they send the flag it’s actually waiting for us now,” said Gomez. “Phoenix did the same thing and Phoenix signed the flag and we brought it with us. It got to me before we hit the road, New York is sending one, Baltimore supposed to be sending one as well.” The group is heading to the Midland/Odessa area along with Fort Stockton Thursday before arriving in El Paso on Friday.