Greg Abbott takes back calling Texas shooting victims ‘illegal immigrants’

“We regret if the information was incorrect and detracted from the important goal of finding and arresting the criminal,” Abbott’s office said. “Any loss of life is a tragedy, and our hearts go out to the families who have lost a loved one.”

The Cleveland shooting resulted in five people being killed, including a 9-year-old boy, on Friday, April 28. The family was shot and killed after asking their neighbor, the shooter, to stop firing his rifle because an infant was trying to sleep. The suspect, Francisco Oropesa, 38, was arrested on Tuesday night, May 2, in Montgomery County and charged with five counts of murder.

On Sunday, April 30, Abbott tweeted he was offering a $50,000 award for information that leads to the arrest of the shooter who killed “five illegal immigrants.” The post drew immediate backlash on social media from critics, such as the League of United Latin American Citizens, Texas Moms Demand Action, and America’s Voice. 

“It’s below the dignity of the governor to impugn the victims of a mass shooting about their legal status,” said Domingo Garcia, president of the League of United Latin American Citizens. “All of the victims are Latino and so is the suspected gunman. This is a tragedy that involves another serial killing and a weapon for war that was used in the killing. That’s the issue, not the legal status of the victims.”

While the retraction has been made, Abbott’s tweet has not been deleted. 

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