Democratic presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke gave an emotional statement in response to the mass shooting in El Paso Saturday afternoon. O’Rourke, who represented a district which included El Paso in Congress until January, became choked up as he spoke to reporters while on the campaign trail in Nevada.

“We know that there is a lot of injury, a lot of suffering. I am incredibly saddened and it is hard to think about this,” The El Paso native said. His campaign is canceling scheduled events in Nevada and California this weekend so he could immediately return to the city.

“I’ll tell you, El Paso is the strongest place in the world. The community is going to stay together,” O’Rourke said. “I ask for everyone’s strength. Everyone’s resolved to make sure this doesn’t continue to happen in this country.”

Other presidential candidates have released statements in response to the shooting and calling for an end to gun violence.

“My heart is with the people of El Paso today as they cope with a devastating mass shooting—the scope of which we are still learning. This attack is a tragic reminder of our government’s failure to do its most basic duty: to protect American lives. We need gun reform now,” Julián Castro wrote on Twitter. Castro, who served as mayor of San Antonio, is the only other candidate in the race hailing from Texas.

Cory Booker also wrote on Twitter that “we need to end this national nightmare” of gun violence.

“Praying for everyone affected by this unspeakable tragedy, and for our country to find the moral courage to take action to end this carnage,” Booker wrote.

Pete Buttigieg said in a tweet that his grandmother used to take him to the Cielo Vista mall, where the shooting took place. “How many more must grieve before we act?” he asked.

For his part, Donald Trump said that he had spoken to Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and was monitoring the situation.

“Terrible shootings in ElPaso, Texas. Reports are very bad, many killed. Working with State and Local authorities, and Law Enforcement. Spoke to Governor to pledge total support of Federal Government. God be with you all!” The president Trump wrote on Twitter.


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