Texas gubernatorial hopeful Beto O'Rourke dropped an f-bomb Wednesday while confronting a heckler who apparently laughed at the Democrat's plea to control gun violence.
The emotional moment unfolded at the Crazy Water Hotel in Mineral Wells, about 85 miles west of downtown Dallas, as O'Rourke was discussing his hopes to curb mass shootings.
O'Rourke was referring to the May 24 shooting in Uvalde when 19 children and two teachers were killed at Robb Elementary School by a gunman who purchased weapons just after turning 18.
"You could (legally) buy two, or more if you want to, AR-15s, hundreds of rounds of ammunition and take that weapon, that was originally designed for use on the battlefields in Vietnam to penetrate an enemy soldier's helmet at 500 feet and knock him down dead, up against kids at 5 feet," O'Rourke said.
A snicker could be heard coming from behind O'Rourke and the candidate turned toward a corner of the room where supporters of Republican Gov. Greg Abbott had gathered.
O'Rourke angrily gestured in that direction.
"It may be funny to you, motherf-----, but it's not funny to me," O'Rourke said to wild cheers from his supporters.
"We're going to make sure that our kids who are starting their school year right now, that they don't have to worry about someone walking in to their school with a weapon like this."
Just two minutes earlier, O'Rourke had thanked Abbott's supporters for attending his event.
"I want to hear a round of applause for these Abbott supporters who are here I'm glad that you all came," said O'Rourke as his his backers politely cheered. "Thank you for coming out. That's not easy to do. But you're welcome to join us and we're glad that you're here."
An Abbott spokesman said the laughing person has no connection to the governor.
"This individual is not in any way affiliated with the campaign," according to a statement by Mark Miner, Abbott's campaign communication director.
A Republican has occupied the governor's chair in Austin for more than a generation, as O'Rourke seeks to be the first Democrat to win Texas' top race since Ann Richards in 1990.