Texas Democratic gubernatorial candidate Beto O’Rourke interrupted Gov. Greg Abbott’s press conference Wednesday as the governor was providing an update on the shooting at a Uvalde elementary school that killed at least 21 people Tuesday, KTLA sister station KXAN reports.
O’Rourke walked toward the stage after Abbott’s opening statement and could be heard saying “you are doing nothing.”
Sen. Ted Cruz responded to O’Rourke’s display, calling O’Rourke an “embarrassment.” Multiple other Texas leaders were standing on the stage surrounding Abbott, including Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and Texas Speaker Dade Pehlan.
O’Rourke could be heard saying the shooting was “totally predictable.”
O’Rourke was escorted out of the venue by police. Outside, he spoke to reporters.
“There’s no words that anybody shouting can come up here and do anything to heal those broken hearts,” Abbott said after the exchange.
The shooting at Robb Elementary in Uvalde left at least 19 students and two adults dead. Officials have not yet officially released the names of the victims, but families are coming forward to identify their loved ones.
“We owe those parents actions. I’ve talked to the parents in El Paso, I’ve talked to the parents in Santa Fe high School, I’ve talked to the parents in Midland Odessa. They want us to do something right now. I want us to do something right now. We can do something right now. But if we continue to accept this, it’s not just the governor’s fault — it is on us,” O’Rourke said.
The shooting happened just two days before the last day of the school year, per Uvalde CISD’s calendar.
“In this one moment in time, put aside personal agendas … think about somebody other than ourselves. Think about the people who are hurt,” Abbott said in a raised voice.
“There will be plenty of time to discuss and analyze what happened yesterday and do everything in our power to hopefully prevent it from happening again. Now is the time, people watching around the world in this country, in this state, to focus on the families,” Patrick said.
O’Rourke is running for governor against Abbott in November.