- Rep. Paul Gosar has been repeating misinformation about the suspect in the Texas school shooting.
- Gosar tweeted that the shooter was a “transsexual leftist illegal alien.”
- The false claim has spread based on photos of a person who is unrelated to the attack.
Following Tuesday’s mass shooting at a Texas elementary school, Rep. Paul Gosar, an Arizona Republican, spread a false and transphobic claim that the suspected shooter was a “transsexual leftist illegal alien.”
As of Tuesday evening, the GOP representative has not commented on his tweet, which was deleted about two hours after being published.
This false claim has been proliferating on social media with photos of a transgender person unrelated to the attack. The images appear to have been taken off the Reddit account of a transgender artist.
Among the social-media accounts that shared such images is a Facebook page called “North Florida Patriots.”
The page has since corrected its post, with its operators stating that they “won’t be lectured” by people looking to make the shooting a political issue and turn it into a “gun grab.”
Gov. Greg Abbott of Texas has identified the suspected shooter as an 18-year-old male who lived in the Uvalde community. Authorities say he shot his grandmother before heading to the school with two military-style rifles he bought on his 18th birthday.
He also donned body armor for the attack and was shot dead by a border-patrol agent who rushed into the school without waiting for backup, a law-enforcement official told the Associated Press.
According to CNN, the suspect worked the day shift at a local Wendy’s and was described by the restaurant’s evening manager as “the quiet type” who didn’t socialize with other employees.
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