Aspiring politician apologises for incorrectly naming LGBT youth as gunman

An aspiring politician in Arizona has apologised for incorrectly naming a gay youth leader as the alleged perpetrator of multiple shootings.

Scott Weinberg is running for a seat on the Kyrene School District governing board. The Kyrene School District operates a number of elementary and middle schools in Tempe, Chandler, and Ahwatukee, Arizona.

On Wednesday a man began shooting shoppers at the Westgate Shopping Precinct in West Valley, Glendale. Three people were injured and one of them remains in a critical condition.

The perpetrator of the shootings also allegedly filmed the attacks and shared them to social media via SnapChat.

Police apprehended the offender and later identified him as 20 year old Armando Hernandez Jr. Hernandez told police he had committed the crime because he had been bullied and “wanted respect”.

Weinberg took to Twitter and criticised the media for “not doing their job” and told his followers that the offender was a Youth Ambassador for the Human Rights Campaign, and a “left-wing #LGBTQ @ASU student”.

While there is a Armando Hernandez Jr who is a Youth Ambassador for the US organisation that promotes LGBTI rights, and he is a student in Arizona, he was not the person who had allegedly committed the crime, he just happened to have the same as the offender.

The political hopeful later removed the tweet and issued an apology, saying he’d realised the mistake after several people reached out to vouch for the innocent man.

“I should have properly vetted the information before tweeting it” Weinberg said. “My intent was to criticise the #AZmedia and not to cause any harm.”

Local LGBTQ rights group Equality Arizona criticised Weinberg’s tweet saying it highlighted his views of LGBTQ youth.

“Mr. Weinberg took to social media to falsely accuse and baselessly attack a young man who is a member of the LGBTQ community, of participating in [Wednesday’s] shooting.”

“Mr. Weinberg’s attack was not only a lie, it was also an attack propagated this young person simply because they are an out and proud advocate for equality for all.”

Weinberg shot back at the equality organisation accusing the LGBTQ community of being responsible for “hate”.

This is absurd. You failed to mention that the individual has the same exact name as the #Westgate shooter. I recognized my error, promptly removed the tweet, and apologized. All of the hate is coming from your side of the political spectrum, not mine. “

Weinberg has previously argued that LGBTQ students do not experience bullying in school at the levels reported by officials and has voiced his opposition to anti-bullying programs.

OIP Staff

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