AUSTIN (Nexstar)- House Bill 103, a bill filed by State Representative Brooks Landgraf to create the Texas Active Shooter Alert System, was signed into law by Governor Greg Abbott Monday.
Mary Granados was on her mail route with the postal service when a gunman shot and killed her during the 2019 mass shooting in Odessa.
We first spoke to Mary’s twin sister, Rosie, in March when the Active Shooter Alert System bill passed out of the Texas House. We spoke to Rosie again with the news of the bill being signed into law.
“If the alerts come soon before the shooter comes into town, then that would save lives, because people would be aware of what’s going to happen,” Rosie said over the phone. “They could probably take action fast, and take shelter… Hopefully it could save a lot of lives.”
Landgraf’s bill, also referred to as the Leilah Hernandez Act, received unanimous support at every stage of the legislative process.
“The passage of the Leilah Hernandez Act means that Texans will be able to receive timely alerts, similar to Amber alert messages we currently receive, if there is an active shooting taking place in their area,” Landgraf said. “This alert system could have saved the lives of some of my constituents back in 2019, like high school student Leilah Hernandez. The goal of this legislation is to save lives and prevent mass violence while protecting the constitutional rights of law-abiding Texans.”
Landgraf crafted the bill after working with the families of victims from the August 31, 2019 mass shooting in Odessa and Midland.
Leilah Hernandez, a 15-year-old Odessa High School student, was the youngest victim killed that tragic day. Leilah’s mother, Joanna Leyva, provided powerful testimony in support of the bill at the Texas Capitol, explaining how an active shooter alert system could have saved Leilah’s life.
The bill will require the Texas Department of Public Safety to develop and implement the Active Shooter Alert System. The alerts are intended to be issued quickly via SMS text and other available communications to the public in proximity to an active shooter situation.
“I want to thank everyone who had a hand in the passage of this legislation, especially Leilah’s family and other victims and witnesses of the Odessa shooting. Speaker Dade Phelan, Senator Judith Zaffirini, Chairman James White, Governor Abbott, and many others played important roles in getting this bill over the finish line. Now it is time to get the system in place so we can start saving lives,” Landgraf said.