The lieutenant governor of Texas is drawing criticism for tweeting a Bible verse hours after an attack at an Orlando, Fla., nightclub catering to the LGBT community left 50 people dead and many more injured.
Dan Patrick tweeted a photo with the words from Galatians 6:7: "Do not be deceived. God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows," on Sunday morning. That tweet was later deleted.
A subsequent tweet featured an image with another verse from the Bible.
"The salvation of the righteous comes from the Lord; He is their stronghold in time of trouble," the tweet said.
Have a blessed Sunday! pic.twitter.com/RaoitzD7fV— Dan Patrick (@DanPatrick) June 12, 2016
A spokeswoman for Patrick said the tweet had been scheduled before the attack took place.
“This was certainly not done with any fore knowledge of the events of the day,” Allen Blakemore, a campaign aide, told The Dallas Morning News.
Patrick is out of town but knows about the issue, the campaign aide said.
Texas Democrats tweeted on Sunday mourning the loss of those killed in the attack and calling on Patrick to "apologize immediately."
"Make this right. We are better than this," Texas Democratic Party Chair Gilberto Hinojosa said in a statement.
People on Twitter slammed Patrick for the initial tweet, saying it was not appropriate given the attack at the Orlando nightclub.
"Tweeted as news breaks of mass casualties at a gay nightclub. Vile. Have you no shame," one Twitter user said.
Others called the tweet a "disgrace," saying they were "ashamed" of Patrick.
The shooting and hostage incident that took place early Sunday morning at the crowded nightclub is being characterized as an act of terrorism.
The suspect, who was killed in the club during a shootout with police, had an assault-style rifle, a handgun and "some type of device."
The man appeared to be "organized and well-prepared," police said. An agent from the FBI's Orlando field office said there are "suggestions" the suspect may have had "leanings" toward radical Islamic ideology.
— Updated 1:42 p.m.