Josselyn Berry, press secretary for Democratic Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs, has resigned after posting an inflammatory tweet suggesting “transphobes” should be gunned down in the wake of a woman who identified as transgender killing six people at a Christian school in Nashville.
Local Arizona media reported that Berry’s resignation came after she faced pressure from those close to her and from other lawmakers.
“The Governor does not condone violence in any form,” a statement from Hobbs’ office said. “This administration holds mutual respect at the forefront of how we engage with one another.”
“The post by the Press Secretary is not reflective of the values of the administration,” the statement added. “The Governor has received and accepted the resignation of the Press Secretary.”
The GIF, taken from the 1980 film “Gloria,” tweeted by Berry showed actress Gena Rowlands wielding two pistols and was captioned “Us when we see transphobes.” It was posted Monday, even as the nation mourned the murders of three 9-year-old children and three adults, killed at the Presbyterian-run Covenant School in Music City by a 28-year-old woman who was then killed by heroic police.
Berry tweeted earlier, “If you work in the progressive community and are transphobic, you’re not progressive.”
“Less than 12 hours after the tragic shooting in Nashville by a deranged transgender activist, Katie Hobbs’s Press Secretary calls for shooting people Democrats disagree with,” the Arizona Freedom Caucus said in a statement. “Calling for violence like this is un-American & never acceptable. Josselyn Berry should be fired immediately.”
Less than 12 hours after the tragic shooting in Nashville by a deranged transgender activist @katiehobbs’ Press Secretary calls for shooting people Democrats disagree with.
— Arizona Freedom Caucus (@AZFreedomCaucus) March 29, 2023
The Nashville shooter, a former student at the school, carried two rifles and one handgun into the Covenant School where she shot and killed six people before police arrived on the scene and killed her within minutes. Police said the shooter legally purchased seven guns from five different stores. Her parents, who said they did not want her to own any guns, acknowledged that they knew she had previously sold a firearm but did not know she owned others, police said.
Authorities also revealed on Tuesday that the shooter was undergoing care for an undisclosed “emotional disorder.” A source close to the family told The Daily Beast that the shooter was also autistic but was “high-functioning.”
Police said they searched her parents’ home and found a detailed map of the school along with a manifesto. On Monday, Metro Nashville Police Chief John Drake called the shooting a “targeted attack” and said authorities have a theory on the shooter’s motive, but they are not ready to share it yet.
Zach Jewell and Greg Wilson contributed to this report.