Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs’ (D) press secretary, Josselyn Berry, resigned from her position after posting a controversial tweet suggesting “transphobes” should be killed after a 28-year-old woman who identified as “transgender” killed six people at a Christian school in Nashville.
Local Arizona media reported that Berry’s resignation came after pressure from people close to her and other lawmakers.
“The Governor does not condone violence in any form,” Hobbs’ office said. “This administration holds mutual respect at the forefront of how we engage with one another.”
“The post by the Press Secretary is not reflective of the values of the administration,” the statement added. “The Governor has received and accepted the resignation of the Press Secretary.”
Berry’s tweet showed actress Gena Rowlands holding two pistols with the caption, “Us when we see transphobes.”
Josselyn Berry, the woman running @katiehobbs's comms, sent this threat out following the murder (hate crime) of six innocent Christians by a trans activist
This message is reprehensible & deserves bipartisan condemnation pic.twitter.com/NVtm1pgH9F
— Kari Lake War Room (@KariLakeWarRoom) March 29, 2023
Berry tweeted earlier, “If you work in the progressive community and are transphobic, you’re not progressive.”
The Arizona Freedom Caucus criticized Berry’s calls to shoot people Democrats disagree with.
“Less than 12 hours after the tragic shooting in Nashville by a deranged transgender activist, Katie Hobbs’s Press Secretary calls for shooting people Democrats disagree with,” the organization said in a statement. “Calling for violence like this is un-American & never acceptable. Josselyn Berry should be fired immediately.”
Less than 12 hours after the tragic shooting in Nashville by a deranged transgender activist @katiehobbs’ Press Secretary calls for shooting people Democrats disagree with.
Calling for violence like this is un-American & never acceptable.@joss_berry should be fired immediately pic.twitter.com/wYHHkmsNNE
— Arizona Freedom Caucus (@AZFreedomCaucus) March 29, 2023
Arizona state Sen. Anthony Kern (R) called Berry’s post “massively disturbing” and called for her resignation.
After receiving criticism, Berry made her Twitter account private. She previously worked at Progress Now Arizona, a progressive nonprofit that provides strategic digital campaign services.
Audrey Hale, the shooter, was a former student at the school and carried two rifles and a handgun into the Covenant School, where she killed six people. Police killed Hale minutes later.
While searching Hale’s home, police found a manifesto containing details of how she planned to attack the school.
Authorities revealed that Hale was undergoing care for an “emotional disorder.” A source close to her family said she was autistic but was “high functioning.”
Metro Nashville Police Chief John Drake said in a press conference that the shooting was a “targeted attack,” adding that authorities have a theory about Haley’s motive.
Biden joked at the White House that he made a public appearance after the shooting because he heard there would be ice cream.