Texas Gov. Greg Abbott sparked outrage after he responded to a Friday mass shooting by highlighting the immigration status of the five victims – and getting it wrong, too.
“I’ve announced a $50K reward for info on the criminal who killed 5 illegal immigrants Friday,” Abbott tweeted on Sunday alongside a statement that read, “Our hearts go out to the families and loved ones of the five victims that were taken in this senseless act of violence.”
Abbott’s remarks came shortly after the suspected gunman — now thought to be a man named Francisco Oropesa — shot and killed five people, including an 8-year-old boy, after neighbors asked him to stop firing his AR-15-style weapon in the air, according to reports.
Abbott also referred to the suspected gunman as someone “who is in the country illegally” when announcing a reward for information leading to his capture.
Police have identified the victims of the shooting as 25-year-old Sonia Argentina Guzman, 21-year-old Diana Velazquez Alvarado, 31-year-old Julisa Molina Rivera, 18-year-old Jose Jonathan Casarez and eight-year-old Daniel Enrique Laso.
The former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro — among others — criticized Abbott for his comments.
“Five human beings lost their lives and Greg Abbott insists on labeling them ‘illegal immigrants,'” Castro tweeted on Sunday.
Meanwhile, a community organizer and immigrant rights activist Carlos Eduardo Espina tweeted on Sunday claiming that at least one of the victims was a permanent resident of the U.S.
Espina also attached a photo of Velazquez Alvarado’s permanent resident card as proof.