Allen Outlets Shooting: Gov. Greg Abbott says mental health is 'long-term solution' to gun violence
ALLEN, Texas - Texas Governor Greg Abbott is in Allen Sunday as the city deals with the deadly mass shooting at the Allen Premium Outlets earlier this weekend.
Eight victims were killed, and 7 others were injured by a gunman at the outdoor mall on Saturday afternoon. A vigil will be held for the victims and community on Sunday.
Speaking publicly for the first time since the tragedy, Gov. Abbott discussed the shooting with FOX's Shannon Bream on FOX News Sunday.
"Obviosuly, this is just devastating. Texans are hurting today," said Gov. Abbott. "The people who are hurting the most, obviously, are the families of the victims. Families who lost a loved one. Families who have a loved one who is injured."
Abbott says his main 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.
She questioned if there are any reforms he would push for in Texas or for Congress to take up nationally.
"At the state level, this is something we've been grappling with over the past year," Gov. Abbott said. "There are some potential easy solutions, such as passing laws that we are working on right now, to get the guns out of the hands of dangerous criminals and increase penalties for criminals who possess guns."
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Gov. Abbott said that there is an increased number of shootings in both red and blue states, no matter the gun laws.
"There has been a dramatic increase in the amount of anger and violence that is taking place in America and what Texas is doing in a big time way we are working to address that anger and violence at its root cause, which is the mental health problems behind it," he said.
Gov. Abbott said he expects $3 billion in mental health funding to be passed by the state legislature during this session.
Before moving on to other topics, Abbott called for America to come together.
"It truly seems today that America is more divided than we have been in decades. We have to find a way in this county where we can once again reunite Americans as Americans and come together as one big family and in that regard find ways to reduce violence in our country," he said.