Beto O'Rourke calls off campaign events, returns home after El Paso shooting

Texas Tribune News

Former U.S. Rep. Beto O'Rourke at the El Pasoan of the Year ceremony in El Paso on Feb. 19, 2019.
Former U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke at the El Pasoan of the Year ceremony in El Paso on Feb. 19, 2019.
Photo courtesy El Paso Inc./Jorge Salgado

Democratic presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke canceled upcoming campaign events and headed home to El Paso after the tragic shooting there Saturday.

The former El Paso congressman was appearing at a candidate forum in Las Vegas as details came out about the shooting, which happened at a Walmart and left 20 people dead and more than two dozen wounded. Police said they arrested a man in his 20s who surrendered without incident.

“I’m incredibly saddened, and it is very hard to think about this,” an emotional O’Rourke told reporters at the forum. “But I’ll tell you, El Paso is the strongest place in the world. The community’s gonna come together.

“I’m going back there right now to be with my family and my hometown,” O’Rourke added.

O’Rourke called off events he had planned later Saturday in Nevada as well as Monday in California.

O’Rourke’s campaign is based in El Paso, and all staff and volunteers were “safe and accounted for” after the shooting, according to an email to supporters. Before representing the city in Congress, he served on the El Paso City Council.

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