ALLEN, Texas – Texas Governor Greg Abbott says he will be in Allen Sunday as the city deals with the deadly mass shooting at the Allen Premium Outlets earlier this weekend.
8 victims were killed and 7 others injured by a gunman in the outdoor mall on Saturday afternoon. A vigil will be held on Sunday for the victims and the community.
Speaking publicly for the first time since the tragedy, Governor Abbott discussed the shooting with FOX’s Shannon Bream on FOX News Sunday.
“Obviously, this is just devastating. Texans are suffering today,” Governor Abbott said. “The people who are suffering the most, obviously, are the families of the victims. Families who have lost a loved one. Families who have a loved one who is hurt.”
Abbott says her top priority is to help the Allen community heal.
The governor also thanked the police officer who acted quickly to shoot and kill the gunman.
“We are grateful for that officer’s heroism,” he said.
Bream asked Abbott about the political conversations around gun reform.
He questioned whether there are any reforms he would push in Texas or that Congress would adopt nationally.
“At the state level, this is something that we’ve been grappling with over the past year,” Governor Abbott said. “There are some potential easy solutions, like passing laws that we’re working on right now, to get guns out of the hands of dangerous criminals and increase penalties for criminals who own guns.”
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Gov. Abbott said there is an increase in the number of shootings in both red and blue states, regardless of gun laws.
“There has been a dramatic increase in the amount of anger and violence that is happening in America and what Texas is doing in a big way, we are working to address that anger and violence at its root cause which is mental health issues behind,” he said.
Governor Abbott said he expects the state legislature to approve $3 billion in mental health funding during this session.
Before moving on to other topics, Abbott called on America to come together.
“Today it really does feel like America is more divided than it has been in decades. We need to find a way in this county where we can once again bring Americans together as Americans and unite as one big family, and speaking of that , find ways to reduce violence in our country,” he said.