Pushing, shoving leads to threats during protests over Texas’ anti-sanctuary bill

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TEXAS -- A group of Democratic state representatives are accusing a Texas lawmaker of threatening to shoot a colleague.

The threats allegedly came amid fiery protests at the Texas Capitol Monday afternoon over a recently approved anti-sanctuary cities bill.

Signed into law by Texas Governor Greg Abbott earlier this month, it requires local police departments to enforce federal immigration laws.

As the crowd grew louder, Republican Matt Rinaldi said he called ICE on protestors, claiming some had signs that read "I am illegal and here to stay."

"He saw the crowd and he saw illegals. In his heart he has hate for those people and he wants to see them gone," said Representative Ramon Romero.

That set off pushing and shoving among lawmakers on the floor.

That's when Democrats say Rinaldi threatened to "put a bullet in the head" of Democrat Poncho Nevarez.

In a statement posted to Facebook, Rinaldi admitted he did make the threat, but only after he said Nevarez threatened his life.

"When I told the Democrats I called ICE, Representative Ramon Romero physically assaulted me, and other Democrats were held back by colleagues. During that time Poncho told me that he would "get me on the way to my car." He later approached me and reiterated that "I had to leave at some point, and he would get me." I made it clear that if he attempted to, in his words, "get me," I would shoot him in self defense. I am currently under DPS protection," he said.

"It's a scary time in Texas, and we've gotta make sure that we hold these politicians accountable who say these hateful things," said Representative Cesar Blanco.

Nevarez himself later took to Twitter to dispute the claims.

No charges were filed against any of the lawmakers involved.

Monday was the last day of the Texas legislative session that began in January.

Some lawmakers said the scuffle was the result of several stressful weeks of contentious hearings, debates and votes.