Social media is abuzz with users venting their frustration and anger on the horrific mass shooting at Uvalde, Texas. In the light of the same, some baseless claims have emerged from Arizona Republican Rep Paul Gosar, who tweeted that the shooter was a "transsexual leftist illegal alien."
When the tweet was made, there was no information on whether the 18-year-old gunman belonged to the LGBTQ+ community or was a left wing enthusiast.
These false allegations seem to have their roots on the far-right messaging board, 4chan, after users accidentally linked a trans person on Reddit to be the shooting suspect. In an attempt to 'set the record straight' the Reddit user, on Tuesday posted a picture of herself with a caption: "It's not me, I don't even live in Texas."
"They are my pics," she wrote further. "People are using [them] to make trans people look like murderers and blaming me for the shooting."
As reports underlining the gunman's misogynistic behavior started emerging, 4chan acknowledged that the Reddit account was in no way connected to the shooter. It was however, a little too late because the claims had already reached right wing channels of platforms like Telegram and Gab and were picked up by Gosar's office, as per Vice.
Known for targeting the trans and LGBT+ community, the Republicans have deplored actions against stricter gun control laws, taken by the Biden administration and campaigners after the tragic death of 19 children and 2 adults in the mass shooting, the Independent UK reported.
As soon as the tweet was deleted, several twitter users started spreading warnings about the unconfirmed and unverified pictures. "I'm not even surprised that Republicans are spreading a false claim that the shooter in Texas is trans," a user tweeted, "It tracks with their policies which villify and harm trans people in the USA. The problem is never gun safety - it's always something else."
"Please stop sharing them because in the event they aren't Ramos, you're harming someone who had nothing to do with the shooting," another user wrote, as reported by Salon.com
Gosar was responding to a Twitter user who asked whether or not the Texas shooter was "the kind of trash that Reps Marjorie Taylor Greene and Paul Gosar travel to speak of?"
Referring to a controversial event organized by Nick Fuentes, founder of the America First Political Action Conference and attended by both Greene and Gosar in February, where the participants came under fire for lauded Russian president Vladimir Putin for his decision of invading Ukraine.