Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs’ (D) press secretary Josselyn Berry resigned on Wednesday after making remarks that seemed to condone gun violence against “transphobes” shortly after a woman who identified as transgender killed six people at a Nashville, Tennessee school.
The shooter who carried out the attack was a former student of the school. She entered the school carrying two rifles and a handgun and proceeded to kill six people before being shot and killed by the police.
After the tragedy, Berry tweeted the caption “Us when we see transphobes” along with a GIF of actress Gena Rowlands from a scene in the 1980 movie “Gloria” where the actress is pointing two revolver handguns.
This is Governor Katie Hobbs's press secretary, Josselyn Berry, advocating for violence against those who oppose the radical Trans agenda. pic.twitter.com/5dH7aCmi8U
— Charlie Kirk (@charliekirk11) March 29, 2023
In a tweet earlier the same day, Berry said, “If you work in the progressive community and are transphobic, you’re not progressive.”
Berry resigned from her position the following morning, and the governor’s office released the following statement, “The Governor does not condone violence in any form. This administration holds mutual respect at the forefront of how we engage with one another. The post by the Press Secretary is not reflective of the values of the administration. The Governor has received and accepted the resignation of the Press Secretary.”
Arizona Republicans swiftly condemned Berry after she appeared to suggest gun violence against “transphobes” on Twitter and immediately urged Gov. Hobbs to fire her.
The Arizona Freedom Caucus tweeted, “Less than 12 hours after the tragic shooting in Nashville by a deranged transgender activist, Katie Hobbs’s Press Secretary calls for shooting people Democrats disagree with. Calling for violence like this is un-American and never acceptable. Josselyn Berry should be fired immediately.”
Rep. Austin Smith (R-AZ) sent out a similar tweet saying, “Fire @joss_berry. Calling for violence from the 9th floor is beneath the office she is supposed to serve.”
On Tuesday, authorities disclosed that the Nashville shooter was receiving treatment for an undisclosed “emotional disorder.” According to a source close to the family, the shooter was also autistic but “high-functioning.”
Police officials revealed that they found a detailed map of the school and a manifesto in a search of the shooter’s parents’ home. The Metro Nashville Police Chief, John Drake, called the shooting a “targeted attack” and stated that authorities have a theory on the shooter’s motive, but it has not yet been made public.
According to law enforcement officials, the shooter had legally purchased seven guns from five different stores. Her parents stated that they did not want her to own any guns and were unaware that she owned multiple firearms.