Beto O’Rourke, a Democratic candidate for Texas governor, interrupted a press conference led by Texas Governor Greg Abbott (R) on Wednesday before being escorted out of the event by law enforcement.
After Abbott opened the press conference and handed off comments to Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, O’Rourke approached the stage and began yelling at the Texas governor. Law enforcement stopped O’Rourke short of the stage.
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), standing behind Abbott on the stage, told O’Rourke to “sit down and don’t play this stuff” as O’Rourke approached the stage scolding Abbott.
“The time to stop the next shooting is right now and you are doing nothing. You are offering us nothing,” O’Rourke said. “This is totally predictable when you choose not to do anything.”
“Please get his a** outta here,” a man on stage can be heard telling law enforcement.
“Sir, you are out of line. Please leave this auditorium” the man yelled down to O’Rourke. “I can’t believe. You’re a sick son of a b****, you would come to a deal like this to make a political issue.”
O’Rourke has been a vocal advocate for extensive gun control measures up to government confiscation of AR-15 rifles. He has since backed off that position.
A mass shooter killed at least 19 children and two adults at an elementary school in Uvalde on Tuesday. A Border Patrol agent engaged and fatally shot the gunman. Three law enforcement officers were injured while engaging the gunman.
Abbott called the press conference to give the public an update on the state of the investigation into the Uvalde shooting. Before O’Rourke’s interruption, the governor said that the shooter was an 18-year-old and reportedly a high school dropout with no criminal history, though the shooter may have a juvenile record.
The only red flag from the shooter’s past so far that may have foretold the shooting came in the form of several posts on social media the day of the shooting, Abbott said. One post sent roughly 15 minutes before the shooting said, “I’m going to shoot an elementary school,” according to the governor.
Abbott said that law enforcement and local officials in the Uvalde community requested help in dealing with mental health issues in the community.
“Some physical wounds that were sustained by the officers, they’re going to heal in the coming days. The mental and emotional wounds are far harder to see, and last far longer. The state of Texas working with federal and local officials in agencies, we’re going to be here for a long, long time,” Abbott said. “And one key point that we will focus on is making sure that everybody in this community has the access they need – for as long as they need it – to address the mental and emotional healthcare needs that they have.”