In a grimly ironic coincidence, U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) was in the midst of a speech on gun violence Thursday when he learned of the shooting at Saugus High School in Santa Clarita CA.

“We are complicit in these deaths if we fail to act,” Blumenthal said midway through his floor speech, responding to GOP senators blocking a vote on universal background checks, reports The Hill.

Then someone handed him a piece of paper.

Blumenthal read it, then said: “As I speak on the floor, right now, there is a school shooting in [Santa Clarita] California. How can we turn the other way?”

“It is not just a political responsibility,” he said, “it is a moral imperative.”

Shortly before Blumenthal spoke — at about the time the shooting started in California — Rep. Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS) had “objected to a motion to hear the background checks measure,” The Hill reports, quoting her as saying: “We can’t fast-track legislation that affects America’s Second Amendment rights.”