Gov. Abbott Calls Texas Mass Shooting Victims ‘Illegal Immigrants’
Texas Governor Greg Abbott is facing criticism for his statement about the victims of a mass shooting in Cleveland, Texas. The shooting, which occurred on Friday, left five people dead, including an 8-year-old boy.
According to the San Jacinto County Sheriff, the shooter, a drunk man, fired his AR-15-style weapon after neighbors asked him to stop shooting in the air.
In a statement released on Sunday, Governor Abbott offered condolences to the families of the victims and announced a $50,000 reward for information regarding the shooter.
However, in the same statement, he referred to the victims as “illegal immigrants,” despite the authorities not publicly disclosing their citizenship status.
“Governor Greg Abbott today announced a $50,000 reward for a Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) top 10 fugitive who is in the country illegally and killed five illegal immigrants in a shooting Friday night in Cleveland, Texas,” a statement from Abbott’s personal Twitter account said.
The victims were identified as Sonia Argentina Guzman, 25; Diana Velazquez Alvarado, 21; Julisa Molina Rivera, 31; Jose Jonathan Casarez, 18; and Daniel Enrique Laso, 8.
Several actors, former politicians, and immigration rights organizations criticized Abbott’s statement for its insensitivity and politicization of the tragedy.
“Five human beings lost their lives and Greg Abbott insists on labeling them ‘illegal immigrants,'” Julián Castro, the former Housing and Urban Development Secretary, said.