It’s important to live our lives, but remain vigilant, says Valley congressman


A community on edge after a recent shooting in El Paso.

An increase of precautionary steps by law enforcement and even a false alarm at a local Walmart in Weslaco over the past week.

Local 23 News meets with U.S. Representative Filemon Vela to find out what he’s doing to keep the community safe from an active shooting event.

When asked: Do you have a message for the community, especially now that we have tax free weekend a lot of people ready to go out?

Vela responded: “I think it’s important to live our lives. But at the same time, we have to be vigilant. The things that we saw happen in Dayton, Ohio and in El Paso last weekend could happen anywhere.”

This week police across the valley increasing awareness to the “reality of homegrown terror.”

With Harlingen encouraging residents to report suspicious activity. HPD released the following statement on Facebook:

As our country again faces the reality of homegrown terror, our resolve to prevent such acts from occurring in our community has never been stronger. As with most cowardly acts, there are those who want to continue adding to the panic and distress by posting vague threats on social media. These comments are not only inappropriate, but criminal. Rest assured, our department investigates these comments directed towards our community and will file appropriate criminal charges on those identified as either the creator of the content or those who share it with intent spread panic and fear.

As a department, and as members of our community, we encourage everyone to report suspicious activity to law enforcement. Remember, See something, say something, do something.

Edingubrg releasing video of a recent press conference discussing their ongoing efforts and multiple active shooter trainings.

“We did invite our local HEB’s, Walmarts, Walgreens, our shops in edinburg … and we are making sure that they understand the trainings that we have so we can be a little bit more informed and prepared as well.” Says Sarah Rodriguez, Public Information Officer for Edinburg PD.   

We asked Vela what he has done to ensure that a similar shooting does not happen in the region or ever again. His response:

Well, we passed and I supported background check legislation in the house in April. It had unanimous democratic support and some republican support. It’s been stalled in the senate; republicans control the senate. I’m hopeful that they’ll move on it when we get back.

The congressman is referring to HR 8 which prohibits transferring firearms without a background check.

HR 8 passed the U.S. House of Representatives this past March. It is now awaiting review in the senate legislatives calendar.

You can find updates on this bill here:

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