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UVALDE, Texas – Rep. Tony Gonzales, who represents Uvalde, said Beto O’Rourke’s outburst during Gov. Greg Abbot’s update on the Texas shooting was “spewing rhetoric and hate” when the community needs unity.
“It’s sad to see politicians try to capitalize politically off of the death of innocent children,” Gonzales, a Republican, told Fox News.
“Not today. Not today,” he continued. “This is about healing.”
Democratic gubernatorial candidate Beto O’Rourke interrupted a press conference held by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott following the Uvalde school shooting. (Jordan Vonderhaar/Getty Images)
Abbott, a Republican, spoke for roughly 10 minutes before he attempted to give Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick the floor. But O’Rourke, a former U.S. representative running for governor, approached the stage and interrupted.
Democrat Beto O’Rourke interrupts a news conference headed by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott following the Uvalde school shooting. (AP Photo/Dario Lopez-Mills)
Portions of the Democrat’s outburst were inaudible, though he accused Abbott of “doing nothing” to curb gun access and called the governor’s response “totally predictable.” O’Rourke was escorted out of the auditorium after a brief exchange with several officials on stage.
Rep. Gonzales walks across the street from Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas. (Fox News Digital/Lisa Bennatan)
“We all need to come together,” Gonzales told Fox News. “There’s no time for political antics.”
O’Rourke came down “spewing rhetoric and hate,” Gonzales continued. “This is about unity. We all need to come together, because everyone is hurting.”
The Texas Republican said he’d just come from a briefing where “essentially everyone in the room had to relive this traumatic experience.”
Gonzales also praised law enforcement’s efforts. He specifically named Lt. Javier Martinez, who he said “took fire and was wounded,” and within 24 hours was “briefing leadership on what was happening.”
“Ultimately, this was a joint law enforcement effort,” Gonzales said. “That can’t be understated.”
“They saved lives,” he continued. “Over 600 children were in this school.”
Law enforcement personnel stand outside Robb Elementary School following a shooting, Tuesday, May 24, 2022, in Uvalde, Texas. (AP Photo/Dario Lopez-Mills)
“As bad as this situation was, those men and women, Javier Martinez and [Uvalde Police Chief Pete] Arredondo, saved hundreds of lives,” Gonzales said.