Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo has spent the past few months demanding action after a series of mass shootings. On Friday, he pleaded for gun reform again, this time after a shooting not far from his city.
In a Facebook post Friday night, hours after a teenager allegedly shot and killed 10 people at Santa Fe High School, Acevedo shared his frustrations.
“Today I spent the day dealing with another mass shooting of children and a responding police officer who is clinging to life. I’m not ashamed to admit I’ve shed tears of sadness, pain and anger,” wrote Acevedo, who was named chief in 2016 by Mayor Sylvester Turner, a Democrat.
John Barnes, a retired Houston police officer who was working as a school resource officer at Santa Fe High, was wounded in the massacre, a hospital official said. At least 10 people were hurt.
Acevedo tweeted that he visited Barnes at the hospital and he was “hanging in there.”
The police chief said he’s tired of the common refrains after mass shootings that “guns aren’t the problem” and “there’s little we can do.”
“I know some have strong feelings about gun rights, but I want you to know I’ve hit rock bottom and I am not interested in your views as it pertains to this issue,” he said.
There have been 22 school shootings where someone was hurt or killed in the US so far this year. That averages out to more than one shooting a week.
The shooting at Santa Fe High School on Friday comes months after a massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School left 17 people dead in Parkland, Florida.
Though Acevedo did not describe what kind of gun reform he’d want to see enacted, he said now is the time to do more than pray.
“It’s a time for prayers, action and the asking of God’s forgiveness for our inaction (especially the elected officials that ran to the cameras today, acted in a solemn manner, called for prayers, and will once again do absolutely nothing),” he said.
This isn’t the first time Acevedo has called for gun control after a mass shooting. In the days following the deadly massacre last year in Las Vegas, he urged others to join him in demanding gun control.
“When will we stand up & say enough?” he tweeted. “We’ve failed thousands of families of all ages, races and faith. Stand up and be heard.”
Acevedo is the first Hispanic to lead the department. Before that, he was chief of the Austin Police Department.