‘It was an accident’: Santa Fe mayor apologizes, calls himself an alcoholic after Facebook post about deadly high school shooting

A mother is responding to the mayor's controversial Facebook post
A mother is responding to the mayor's controversial Facebook post

SANTA FE, Texas – Santa Fe’s mayor said he will not resign after making a controversial Facebook post about the deadly high school shooting. Jason Tabor said he takes full responsibility for the post but blames his actions on alcohol, PTSD, his childhood and not having his medication.

Ten lives were lost in the Santa Fe High School shooting and 13 others were injured. The shooting took place in May 2018 shortly after Tabor was elected Mayor. Over the Fourth of July holiday weekend, Tabor said he made a drunken and stupid mistake.

“It was an accident,” said Tabor.

Tabor claims he was binge drinking at a Louisiana casino when he posted who the primary target was in the mass shooting. However, what he posted was not previously disclosed in the ongoing criminal investigation.

“I am an alcoholic, but I come from a family of alcoholics, and so to me, sometimes if you can’t handle one drink responsibly, sometimes you want to drink a lot of drinks. Maybe alcohol is just not for me,” said Tabor.

Several people commented on the post asking additional questions about the shooting, and Tabor responded by providing information that was not public or verified by investigators and could possibly be detrimental to the prosecution’s case.

“Pretty much, I am mad at the fact that I feel like we are never going to have a trial ‘cause they keep extending it, extending it and I feel like I want justice. I feel like I carry that burden sometimes,” he said.

Tabor said he laments that after three years there hasn’t been a conviction because the accused killer was deemed mentally unfit to stand trial.

According to Tabor, he explained himself to some members of the city council, although Thursday’s city council meeting has been postponed until next week. It’s unclear why.

Some residents of Santa Fe are choosing not to accept his apology. One man commented on Facebook, “If you have a drinking problem you need to step away until you can get it together. We need someone that can give the city 100% attention.”

“I am taking the heat. I am okay with it. I think owning up to it, I am going to make sure I do better,” said Tabor.

A mother whose daughter was killed in the Santa Fe shooting said Tabor’s apology was “garbage.”

“His apology is garbage and he needs to resign,” said the mother Rhonda Hart.

Hart’s daughter is Kimberly Vaughan, one of 10 people killed during the shooting.

“His goal as the mayor of Santa Fe is to better that community, for the most part,” Hart said. “It’s not in his place to retraumatize victims, which is exactly what he’s done.”

Tabor said he received treatment for his use of alcohol last September and will he get treatment again.


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