Alabama state Rep. Mike Henson, who was shot in the face during a protest against a church shooting, is “not a Republican” but a “true Christian,” according to the Birmingham News.
Henson was attending the First Baptist Church shooting memorial service at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church in Birmingham, where his cousin, Zachary Williams, was killed.
The Alabama House of Representatives is set to take up a bill that would require gun owners to have a concealed carry permit.
The bill is supported by the National Rifle Association and is a direct attack on the Second Amendment rights of Alabama gun owners, Henson said in a Facebook post.
“I’m not a Republican, I’m a true Christian, and I’m proud to call myself one,” Henson wrote.
“It is a war in the world on Christmas.
You can call it a war, but it is not.
It is a struggle, and we are losing.”
“It’s time to stop playing politics and stop fighting,” Hennerson added.
The Birmingham News reported that the shooting occurred while Henson attended a memorial service for Williams, the man killed by a gunman at the church.
Hennenson told the newspaper that he was “shocked” to hear that Williams’ family had sought an apology from the church and that the family was “angry and hurt.”
Henson told The Birmingham Mail that he “wasn’t aware” that Williams was involved in a shooting.
“The way they reacted to my comments is really a slap in the middle of me,” Hensons Facebook post read.
“To be honest, I am not surprised, I was not aware that his family was upset with me, but I was shocked that they would not speak to me and that they didn’t care about me.
I am angry that they are not coming to me, or coming to the church, or offering me the apology.
I will not be silenced.
I know I am going to get a lot of support, but not from those that don’t want to fight the good fight.
They don’t know me.
They are not my supporters.
I don’t even have a Facebook page, I don ‘t have a name.”
Henson, who has represented the Birmingham area since 2016, was shot while attending a memorial ceremony for the shooting victims.
Hensson was taken to a local hospital, but died shortly after.
The gun that killed Henson reportedly belonged to a member of the church’s security detail.
The shooting comes as other members of the congregation in nearby Fells Point have begun carrying concealed handguns for protection after the church shooting.
In a statement released Thursday, the church said it had been “outraged” by the “toxic tone” of Henson’s post.
Hensen’s office has since released a statement denying that the Alabama lawmaker was the victim of a hate crime.
“There is no truth to the accusations that Mr. Hinson is a victim of any hate crime,” the statement reads.
“He has served his constituents in the state of Alabama and is proud to be a part of this community and to represent it in the U.S. House of Rep. H. John Conyers, D-Detroit.”
Hennings statement says that Henson “will be forever grateful for the support that has been shown by his family and the members of his congregation.”
“The outpouring of love and concern for the safety of our congregations and their members was overwhelming,” the spokesperson added.
“Our prayers go out to his family, friends and colleagues during this time.”