Last Friday (May 18), a shooting at Santa Fe High School in Texas claimed the lives of 10 people and caused injury to 10 others. Later that day, J.J. Watt had his team reach out to local officials, offering to cover funeral costs for the families of the 10 victims. The messenger, one of Watt’s representatives, requested anonymity to privatize the deed. He said that they called it, “very generous and special.”
Hours after news of the shooting was released, the Texans defensive end tweeted, “Absolutely horrific,” saying nothing more. Police officials said that the 17-year-old gunman, Dimitrios Pagourtzis, was in custody. He opened fire about 30 miles from Houston, killing nine students and at least one teacher. He attended the school, himself, and allegedly had an agenda. He spared some lives for the sake of his story being told, the New York Times reports.
This won’t be the first time that Watt assumes an aide position. The Justin J. Watt Foundation, established in 2011 after Watt was drafted, raised $37 million for Hurricane Harvey relief last September, and actively holds fundraisers for schools and other programs. Watt was granted the NFL’s 2017 Walter Payton Man of the Year award in February after receiving official recognition for his Hurricane Harvey contributions.
Later, the Texans released a statement regarding the incident:
“On behalf of the Texans organization, we are saddened by the tragic events at Sante Fe High School this morning and extend our thoughts and heartfelt condolences to the victims, their families and all those affected. We are grateful for the brave first responders, law enforcement officials, and medical personnel. The Texans family will continue to pray for our neighbors.”