During a press conference this Wednesday, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott provided updates to the state's response to Tuesday’s elementary school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, that claimed the lives of 19 children and two adults and wounded others.
During the briefing, Texas candidate for governor Beto O'Rourke approached the stage and interrupted Abbott, accusing him of "doing nothing."
"You are out of line, and an embarrassment," Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick told O'Rourke.
As O'Rourke continued to confront Abbot, another man in Abbot's entourage fired back at O'Rourke, telling him, "Sir, you are out of line!"
"Sit down and don't play this stunt," another person can be heard telling O'Rourke.
The attack in Uvalde -- a small community about an hour from the Mexican border -- is the latest in a spree of deadly shootings in the United States, where widespread horror at gun violence has failed to spur action to head off future killings.
The assailant "shot and killed, horrifically and incomprehensibly, 14 students and killed a teacher," Abbott told a news conference on Tuesday.
The governor said the suspect, a local teenager, was also "deceased," adding that "it is believed that responding officers killed him."
It was the deadliest such incident since 14 high school students and three adult staff were killed in Parkland, Florida in 2018 -- and the worst at an elementary school since the 2012 Sandy Hook shooting in Connecticut, in which 20 children and six staff were killed.
Despite recurring mass-casualty shootings, multiple initiatives to reform gun regulations have failed in the US Congress, leaving states and local councils to enact their own restrictions.
The United States suffered 19,350 firearm homicides in 2020, up nearly 35 percent compared to 2019, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said in its latest data.
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Sparks fly as Beto O'Rourke confronts Gov Greg Abbott during school shooting press briefing www.youtube.com
With additional reporting by AFP