Congressman Misidentifies Texas Shooter; Fell for Meme
Vicente González (born 1967) is an attorney and Democrat who is the United States Representative of Texas’s 15th congressional district. He won the 2016 general election and took office in January 2017.
On November 5, 2017, he was interviewed live via telephone on CNN in the wake of the Sutherland Springs church shooting. He said he was told that “Sam Hyde” was the name of the gunman responsible for the murderous rampage that resulted in the deaths of more than 20 people.
Rep. Vicente González just repeated the well-known 4chan hoax that the shooter's name was Sam Hyde. That name is circulated EVERY shooting pic.twitter.com/Aa6juBf8oM
— Brandon Wall (@Walldo) November 5, 2017
“Sam Hyde” is the name facetiously circulated by 4chan and Twitter users as suspects in the wake of mass shootings.
News about the shooter in Texas confirmed. Sam Hyde snapped after his mom woke him up to go to church @CNN @CNNBRK pic.twitter.com/oRTZarV6Jt
— Ivan #JWOKE (@thatAutism) November 5, 2017
The meme is frequently accompanied by a photo of a white man holding a large gun.
In connection with this tragedy, another misidentification occurred when a store employee near the church definitively said, also during a live phone interview with a news outlet, that neighbors had told her that the name of the shooter was Chris Ward.
Later in the day, a 26-year-old man named Devin Kelley was identified as the shooter.