Gov. Greg Abbott In Hot Water Over Texas Mass-Shooting Victims

Texas Governor Greg Abbott is facing criticism for identifying the victims of a Friday mass shooting in Cleveland, Texas, asillegal immigrants in the same statement in which he offered condolences to their loved ones.

The shooting occurred Friday evening, when a drunk man opened fire with an AR15style weapon into the air, according to San Jacinto County Sheriff Greg Capers. When neighbors asked the man to stop, he shot and killed five people, including an 8yearold boy.

On Sunday, Abbott released a statement offering a $50,000 reward for information regarding the shooter and offering condolences to the families of the victims. However, before doing so, Abbott identified the victims asillegal immigrants.”

Police identified the victims as Sonia Argentina Guzman, 25; Diana Velazquez Alvarado, 21; Julisa Molina Rivera, 31; Jose Jonathan Casarez, 18; and Daniel Enrique Laso, 8. It is unclear whether the victims were in the country legally or illegally, as authorities have not released citizenship statuses.

Abbott‘s statement drew the ire of many. Actor George Takei, who lived with his parents in internment camps during World War II, tweeted,This is despicable. I would have thought bringing up the immigration status of the innocent victims of this senseless violence would be beneath even you. But I was wrong.”

Julián Castro, the former Housing and Urban Development Secretary, said,Five human beings lost their lives and Greg Abbott insists on labeling themillegal immigrants.'”

The Immigrant Legal Resource Center called Abbott‘s statementdehumanizing antiimmigrant rhetoric.”

A San Jacinto County Sheriffs spokesperson said the agency could not release further information. A spokesperson for Abbott did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Abbott‘s decision to identify the victims asillegal immigrants has sparked outrage from those who feel the governor should not have identified the victims immigration statuses in the same statement in which he offered condolences. It remains unclear whether the victims were in the country legally or illegally, and the governor‘s decision to label them asillegal immigrants has been widely criticized.


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