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Beto O’Rourke confronts Texas governor during update on Uvalde elementary school shooting

Gage Skidmore / CC BY-SA 2.0

By Maegan Vazquez, CNN

    (CNN) -- Texas Democratic gubernatorial nominee Beto O'Rourke confronted Texas Republican Gov. Greg Abbott and other officials on Wednesday during a press conference about Tuesday's deadly shooting at an elementary school in the state.

"Gov. Abbott, I have to say something," O'Rourke -- a former congressman who represented El Paso, Texas, and is a former Senate and presidential candidate -- said as he approached the stage in Uvalde, Texas.

"The time to stop the next shooting is right now and you are doing nothing," O'Rourke told Abbott.

"You said this is not predictable. This is totally predictable," he said of Tuesday's shooting at a local elementary school where where 21 people -- including 19 children -- died and 17 were injured.

Among those onstage with Abbott was Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz -- whom O'Rourke ran against in his unsuccessful 2018 Senate bid.

In video of the confrontation, Texas Republican Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick is heard telling O'Rourke, "You're out of line and an embarrassment."

"Sit down," Cruz said, shaking his head.

Another official onstage, Uvalde Mayor Don McLaughlin, shouted profanities at O'Rourke and appeared to direct authorities in the room to remove the former congressman from the auditorium.

O'Rourke was led away by officers, saying, "This is on you, until you choose to do something different. This will continue to happen. Somebody needs to stand up for the children of this state or they will continue to be killed, just like they were killed in Uvalde yesterday."

"(Abbott) said he was going to do something. He did nothing. In fact, the only thing he did was make it easier to carry a gun in public," O'Rourke told reporters after he exited the press conference.

O'Rourke said the Texas governor's "only interest is the gun lobby."

He pointed out to reporters that Abbott is currently scheduled to speak at the National Rifle Association convention this Friday in Houston, "just days after these kids were slaughtered right here in Uvalde, after they were slaughtered at Santa Fe High School, at Sutherland Springs, In Midland-Odessa, in El Paso, Texas."

"Five of the worst mass hosting in US history, right here in this state in the last five years. He was governor for every single one of them," O'Rourke continued.

Less than an hour before O'Rourke interrupted the press conference, he sent an email to his supporters where he said the Uvalde shooting is a "direct consequence" of "choices made by Greg Abbott."

"These massacres are not natural disasters, acts of God, or random. They are totally predictable, direct consequences of the choices made by Greg Abbott and the majority of those in the Texas legislature," he wrote.

At Wednesday's press conference, Abbott argued that tougher gun laws aren't a "real solution."

"People who think maybe we can implement tough gun laws and we can solve it -- Chicago, New York and LA disprove that thesis. Chicago teaches you that what you are talking about isn't a real solution," Abbott said.

Abbott also said there are continuing discussions about how to address people with mental health challenges in the state as well as ways to keep schools safe.

This story has been updated with additional details from the event.

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Adonis Albright

Adonis Albright first found his passion in local news as a production assistant in San Diego after getting his Bachelor’s degree at San Diego State University.

If you have a great story idea, you can reach him at adonis.albright@kecytv.com.

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