Debunking Rumors About The Uvalde School Shooting

By Dani Medina

May 26, 2022

Photo: Getty Images

An 18-year-old opened fire at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, on Tuesday (May 24), killing 19 children and two teachers.

Reports on social media about the shooting began to go viral, whether they were true or not. Here's a look at three of the most popular rumors that have spread after the Uvalde school shooting, according to The New York Times.

The gunman was not transgender

Several photos showing the gunman wearing women's clothing were posted to online message board 4chan, according to The New York Times. Other claims suggested the shooting was a result of hormone therapy. These transgender claims were amplified by several state representatives on social media, including Arizona Representative Paul Gosar, who has since deleted his tweets.

More photos made the rounds of social media depicting a dark-haired transgender woman alongside photos of the gunman's face to suggest they were the same person. Two people came forward saying their photos were "used to spread misinformation" and shared additional photos of themselves as proof the photos of them were of the gunman.

The gunman was not an undocumented immigrant

Even after a Texas state senator confirmed the gunman was born in North Dakota, rumors on social media swirled that claimed the shooter was born outside of the United States, The New York Times reported. Some claimed he "illegally penetrated" the U.S.-Mexico border.

The shooting was not a staged operation

Several reports claimed the school shooting was orchestrated "to draw local law enforcement away from the border, allowing criminals and drugs to cross into the United States, and that gun-control advocates had organized the tragedy to stoke public outrage," The New York Times reported. Other rumors claimed the parents seen on the news were "crisis actors being paid to play a role."

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