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Beto O’Rourke Interrupts School Shooting Press Conference To Accost Governor

Uvalde, TX – Former U.S. Representative Beto O’Rourke (D-Texas) interrupted a press conference about the deadly mass shooting at Robb Elementary School on Wednesday to scream at Texas Governor Greg Abbott about “doing nothing” to stop mass shootings.

At least 19 schoolchildren and two adults were murdered Tuesday when an 18-year-old gunman opened fire inside the elementary school.

Many additional people were wounded, to include multiple law enforcement officers, according to CBS News.

Abbott held the press conference at Uvalde High School alongside Texas Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick, Attorney General Ken Paxton, House Speaker Dade Phelan, U.S. Senator Ted Cruz, and several other elected officials at approximately 12:30 p.m. on May 25, according to The Texas Tribune.

Approximately 15 minutes into the briefing, O’Rourke, who is running for Texas governor, jumped up and began speaking loudly off-camera, then made his way up to the foot of the stage where the elected officials were sitting.

Much of O’Rourke’s tirade was drowned out by the noisy chaos that ensued, but he was heard telling the governor he was “doing nothing” to stop mass shootings.

“This is totally predictable,” the former U.S. representative declared, jabbing his finger forcefully at the panel.

“You are out of line and an embarrassment,” Patrick told O’Rourke.

“He needs to get his -ss out of here. This isn’t the place…You are out of line!” members of the press conference yelled. “I can’t believe you’re a sick son of a b—ch to come to a deal like this to make a political issue!”

O’Rourke was escorted away from the stage by a law enforcement officer, but turned around again moments later to yell some more before leaving the auditorium.

Other protesters could also be heard yelling out in the hallway, NBC News reported.

Investigators said the shooter – identified by Abbott as a local 18-year-old – shot his grandmother before crashing his vehicle near Robb Elementary at approximately 11:32 a.m. on May 24, CBS News reported.

A school resource officer went outside to investigate after the crash occurred and was shot by the suspect, according to KOCO.

The gunman then barged into the building wearing a tactical vest with no ballistic panels and began shooting at “children, teachers, whoever was in his way,” a Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) spokesperson told the news outlet.

“He was shooting everybody,” the DPS spokesperson said.

Robb Elementary teaches students in grades two through four, CBS News reported.

Many students who attend the school are the children of U.S. Border Patrol agents, according to KOCO.

Two law enforcement sources told CBS News the gunman was armed with a handgun, an AR-15, and high-capacity magazines.

The 19 children and two teachers killed in the attack were all in a fourth-grade classroom at the time of the shooting, the DPS said on Wednesday, according to the New York Post.

DPS Spokesperson Lieutenant Chris Olivares said the gunman burst into the classroom and barricaded himself inside, then opened fire.

Police rushed to the scene and began breaking windows throughout the building in order to evacuate students and staff members, CNN reported.

They ultimately forced their way into the classroom where the gunman was located.

“It’s a small classroom, you can have anywhere from 25 to 30 students in there, plus there were two teachers in there. … So don’t have exact number of how many students were in that classroom,” Lt. Olivarez said on Wednesday according to CNN. “It was a classroom setting, a typical classroom setting where you have mass groups of children inside that classroom all together, with nowhere to go.”

Officers engaged in an exchange of gunfire with the shooter, who was struck and killed by a Border Patrol Tactical Unit agent during the ordeal, Uvalde Mayor Don McLaughlin told FOX News.

Uvalde Memorial Hospital officials said 13 children were transported to the hospital for treatment, and that two of the victims succumbed to their wounds, CBS News reported.

A 10-year-old girl and a 66-year-old woman were in critical condition at another area hospital.

A nine-year-old girl was listed in fair condition and a 10-year-old girl was listed in good condition at the same hospital, CBS News reported.

A third hospital said it was caring for two adults who were in critical condition.

Many additional people were wounded, to include multiple law enforcement officers, according to CBS News.

A Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agent was shot in the head and remained hospitalized in stable condition early Wednesday morning.

Investigators said they believe the gunman acted alone.

He was a student at Uvalde High School, according to NPR.

Lt. Olivarez said on Wednesday that the suspect’s grandmother was still alive, CNN reported.

He did not release information about her condition.

Among those murdered in the attack was 10-year-old Amerie Joe Garza, who was shot while trying to call 911, The Telegraph reported.

Eight-year-old Uziyah Garcia, 10-year-old Jackie Cazares, 10-year-old Xavier Lopez, 10-year-old Makenna Lee Elrod, 10-year-old Eliahana “Elijah Cruz” Torres, 10-year-old Ellie Lugo, 10-year-old Annabell Guadalupe Rodriguez, 44-year-old fourth-grade teacher Eva Mireles, and Irma Garcia, who was in her 40s, have also been identified as victims of the massacre.

The entire school district was put into an immediate lockdown when the shooting began, according to Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District (UCISD) Police Chief Pete Chief Arredondo.

There were 535 students, 2nd grade through 4th grade, enrolled at Robb Elementary School in the 2020-2021 school year, CNN reported.

Thursday was scheduled as the last day of school for the 2021-2022 year.

Agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), and the U.S. Border Patrol were on the scene assisting local law enforcement.

Chief Arredondo said that deputies from at least four counties had also responded to the scene to assist.

Hillcrest Memorial Funeral Home in Uvalde announced on Tuesday night that it will provide funeral services for the victims at no cost to their families.

“We have fought together as a community and we will pull together as one now in our time of need,” the funeral home said in a Facebook post. “Hillcrest will be assisting families with NO COST for funerals for all involved in today’s horrific events. Prayer for our small amazing town.”

A second Uvalde funeral home – Rushing-Estes-Knowles Mortuary – said they will also be providing funeral services for the victims free-of-charge, the Austin American-Statesman reported.

UCISD Executive Director of Communications and Marketing Anne Marie Espinoza said the district has canceled school for the remainder of the year.

“Our community has experienced a terrible tragedy,” Espinoza said, according to the Austin American-Statesman. “We must come together to console one another and respect the privacy of the families. Please keep all families in your prayers.”

Written by
Holly Matkin

Holly is a former probation and parole officer who is married to a sheriff’s deputy. She is a regular contributor to Signature Montana magazine, and has written feature articles for Distinctly Montana magazine.

View all articles
Written by Holly Matkin

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