O'Rourke offers personal cell, help to El Paso shooting witness

O'Rourke offers personal cell, help to El Paso shooting witness
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Former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke, a Democratic presidential candidate, offered his personal cell phone number on Wendesday to connect a man who witnessed the shooting in El Paso, Texas, with mental health professionals. 

A video of O’Rourke’s interaction was shared on Twitter by CNN reporter Eric Bradner.

Bradner identified the man as Sean Nixon, 20, who was shopping at Walmart before he helped a child at the time of the shooting.


“It’s too much. El Paso was great. I don’t know why this dude is doing this to us,” Nixon appears to say, breaking down in tears. 

O’Rourke hugs Nixon before offering him his personal cellphone number to put him in contact with professionals.

“This is my cellphone. It goes directly to me. There have been a number of people who have reached out to me, counselors, therapists, who want to be helpful. If that additional help would be good for you, let me know, and then I’ll put you in touch,” O’Rourke said. “If you can think of anything I can do for you or your family I want to do it, OK?”

Bradner initially reported that the man was a Walmart employee. A Walmart spokesperson told The Hill on Thursday that the chain did not employ Nixon at its El Paso location.

O’Rourke, a former Texas congressman who hails from El Paso, has been in his home city speaking with victims of the attack in the wake of the shooting that killed 22 people. 

He will remain in El Paso and miss the upcoming Iowa State Fair, a frequent destination for presidential candidates.

President TrumpDonald John TrumpFive takeaways from Trump-Biden debate clash The Memo: Debate or debacle? Democrats rip Trump for not condemning white supremacists, Proud Boys at debate MORE is visiting El Paso and Dayton, Ohio — the site of a separate mass shooting on Sunday that killed nine people — on Wednesday. 

O'Rourke called Trump a white supremacist shortly ahead of the president's visit. The former Texas lawmaker has repeatedly called Trump a racist and said his rhetoric is in part to blame for the El Paso attack. 

Trump denied that his rhetoric inspired the suspected shooter.

"I think my rhetoric brings people together. Our country is doing really well," Trump told reporters Wednesday, before heading out for El Paso and Dayton. 

Updated Aug. 8, at 5:15 p.m.