'I made a mistake': Santa Fe mayor blames Facebook post about high school massacre on alcohol

Santa Fe Mayor Jason Tabor says he "made a mistake" when he posted about the deadly Santa Fe High School shooting on Facebook, attributing it to alcohol and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

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The mayor wrote a very personal Facebook post on Wednesday morning to apologize for his actions. Tabor said he was in "straight up in party mode" at a Louisiana casino over the holiday weekend when he made the original post.

"I am an alcoholic," Tabor wrote. "I started binge drinking when my dad passed. I forgot my medicine this weekend and went to Louisiana because that is where I can hide and stay drunk."

He added that he was diagnosed with PTSD.

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"That is no excuse for my actions," he added. 

Mayor Tabor's now-deleted post expressed frustration that the admitted shooter had not yet been brought to trial, three years after the massacre.

The post said in part "3 years I’ve carried this burden… That kid… killed because he was rejected. We will most likely never have a trial."

Days later, Tabor made another post apologizing to those he offended and says alcohol and PTSD are to blame.

"I come from a family of alcoholics. So to me, sometimes if you can’t handle one drink responsibly, sometimes you want to drink a lot of drinks and maybe alcohol is just not for me," Tabor said.  

Tabor claims he was at a casino in Louisiana over the 4th of July weekend binge drinking in "party mode." Tabor says he forgot his medication, felt emotional and began posting on social media.

He’s now planning on undergoing a 12-step plan to get his alcoholism under control.

"I don’t want to follow in my dad’s footsteps and drink myself to death. I don’t want to be that person. I want to be a great husband. I want to be a great leader for my community. I want to be a great father, and I can’t do that if I’m drinking," Tabor said.

However, Tabor's apology wasn’t quite enough for some of the victims' families like Rhonda Hart. Her daughter Kimberly Vaughan was one of the 10 people killed at Santa Fe High School in May of 2018.

"I call bs. You having PTSD and alcoholism does not by any means give you the right to discuss intimate details of a minor child's death plain and simple and I’m calling for his resignation," Hart said.

Hart considers Tabor’s words irresponsible and insensitive, especially for an elected official; not to mention untrue.

"Wanting to hear straight from the horse's mouth, I called the district attorney's office yesterday and I said look Mr. Tabor has been you know, saying stuff on Facebook, what is he even saying and is it true? And they said no, without a doubt, he was not privy to that information everything he said is false," Hart said.

"Him making those posts is re-traumatizing victims and that's not his job as a mayor. He's supposed to better that community and he's not," Hart continued.

Other Santa Fe families say they’ve written a letter to the city council, also requesting his resignation. 

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In fact, Tabor upset many in the community when he gave out a possible motive in the case that was not known to the public or yet presented in court. The information on the post and in the subsequent comments has also not been verified by investigators.

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He gave an apology to the Santa Fe community. "I truly love my community and I am so sorry. I am ashamed of myself and my actions. I will be better, I will get better."

In an interview with i45Now, Tabor said "I made a mistake. I hate the fact that I did the mistake. It was an accident and I offended some people because I kind of re-triggered some trauma."

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He said he personally apologized to some people and some were mad and some were supportive. The sentiments are reflected in comments, with some people calling for the mayor to step down.

Tabor says he does not plan on doing that as they're in the middle of city budget planning but will accept if he's voted out of office.

"I hope they look at everything I've done and not pick on one bad thing," he said. 

The mayor, who says he was part of a detox program last year, plans to join a 12-step program to help him combat his alcoholism.

FOX 26 reached out to a Santa Fe ISD school official but they declined to comment. 

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