GOP Rep. Paul Gosar spread a baseless transphobic rumor that the Uvalde school-shooting suspect was a 'transsexual leftist illegal alien'

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Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ) speaks at a news conference at the Capitol Building on December 07, 2021 in Washington, DC. Gosar and Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-FL), Matt Gaetz (R-FL) and Louie Gohmert (R-TX) held the press conference to describe the alleged mistreatment of January 6 defendants in the DC jail.
Rep. Paul Gosar tweeted that the Texas shooting suspect was a "transsexual leftist illegal alien."Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images
  • 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."

Gosar tweeted the claim even though authorities had already identified the shooter as an 18-year-old male resident of Uvalde, where the shooting occurred.

As of Tuesday evening, the GOP representative had not commented on his tweet, which was deleted about two hours after being published.

Paul Gosar tweet Screenshot, transgender woman Uvalde
A screenshot of Paul Gosar's tweet.Screenshot/Twitter

The 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 from the Reddit account of a transgender artist.

Among the social-media accounts that shared those 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 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.

At least 19 children and two adults were killed in the attack, making it the deadliest elementary-school shooting since the 2012 attack at Sandy Hook Elementary.

According to CNN, the shooter 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.

Read the original article on Business Insider