Beto O’Rourke, the former U.S. Representative for Texas and Democratic presidential hopeful, interrupted a press conference on a recent school mass shooting in the state to lay blame on state officials.
“You are doing nothing,” O’Rourke is heard saying standing below the podium of officials, pointing his finger. “This is totally predictable.”
An official said, “You are out of line” three times to O’Rourke as he was talking inaudibly.
“Please leave the auditorium,” an official said. “I can’t believe — you are a sick son of a b**** that you would come to a deal like this to make a political issue.”
O’Rourke, a Democrat who is running for governor of Texas against Republican Greg Abbott, began yelling at the officials after Abbott finished outlining mental health resources available to those affected by the shooting.
The confrontation comes a day after an 18-year-old gunman barricaded himself in a classroom at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, and killed 19 children and two adults.
O’Rourke was then held away from the podium but could be heard saying, “It’s on you,” as the crowd shouted, “Go home.”
Speaking to reporters outside the news conference, O’Rourke said, “We owe those parents action. They want us to do something right now. I want us to do something right now. We can do something right now. But if we continue to accept this, then it is on us, it’s not just the governor’s fault, it is on us.”
Before the interruption, Texas officials detailed that the gunman was a high school dropout and had no criminal or mental health history. They said there was no meaningful forewarning of the shooting, only information posted on Facebook 30 minutes before reaching the school. The post had said he would shoot his grandmother, who is currently in hospital with serious injuries.
U.S. Congress has repeatedly failed to pass legislation to curb gun violence in the country, prompting lawmakers and citizens to express their exasperation on the issue.
— with files from Reuters