On CNN and in other TV interviews, Gutierrez appeared to have a black eye and a cut on his forehead above the eye on the left side of his face. The injuries were more visible in some interviews than others.
“Why did Roland Gutierrez get a black eye and bruised forehead in the last hour!?!” tweeted @colingarnes.
“Did someone punch senator Roland Gutierrez? Is that a black eye and a bruise on his forehead? Confused,” tweeted @Supernalwings.
Gutierrez’s black eye is from surgery.
No, Gutierrez didn’t get into a brawl with Texas Governor Greg Abbott. The black eye and cut on his forehead are from a recent surgery, tweeted @Reptarro. In a 2021 photo of Gutierrez obtained from Getty Images, there's a very visible lump on his forehead where there is now a cut.
Gutierrez was with Ulvade parents when they learned the fate of their children.
Gutierrez is a Democratic member of the Texas State Senate. He represents District 19, which includes Uvalde, the town where 19 children and two teachers were killed in a mass shooting at Robb Elementary School. Gutierrez was elected in 2020, beating out incumbent Republican Pete Flores.
In an interview with MSNBC’s José Díaz-Balart, Gutierrez got choked up as he recounted how he was at the reunification center with the parents who were waiting to hear whether their children were dead or alive.
"As people were informed that their child was deceased, you heard uncontrollable crying," Gutierrez told MSNBC. “I cannot believe that we're living in this nightmare right now."
“I wish that people that advocated for these types of weapons knew what I now know,” he said. “I wish that people would understand that we need change in this country.”
Gutierrez feels “powerless” against the Republican-controlled legislature.
Gutierrez told MSNBC that the Texas town of Sutherland Springs still has bereavement consultants in the community helping with the aftermath of a mass shooting there. In November 2017, a gunman opened fire in a rural Sutherland Springs church, killing 26 people.
Gutierrez said he felt powerless to get anything done to curb gun violence in Texas because the Republican-controlled legislature blocks all attempts.
“Every time we want to do something in the state legislation, the Republican-controlled legislature says ‘no, we’re not going to do anything.’ People elected me to solve problems, and in this space, I feel so powerless. After we try and we try, we can’t get a modicum of gun sense, and that’s all I’m asking for,” Gutierrez told MSNBC. “If we don’t learn from this, then what are we? What am I doing in Austin if I can’t get Republican colleagues to learn from this.”
Texas Republicans Abbott and Cruz are attending an NRA meeting.
While Gutierrez and others struggle for answers on how to stop incidents like the Uvalde shooting, Texas Republicans Gov. Greg Abbott and Senator Ted Cruz are scheduled to speak at the NRA Annual Meeting in Houston this weekend.
Cruz maintains that gun control isn’t the answer to preventing school shootings like the one that killed the children of his constituents. He advocates for having more armed guards at schools.