A Missouri state representative attracted criticism online Friday afternoon when he tweeted that “Looters deserve to be shot. … But not by the government” and referenced the Second Amendment.

The post from Rep. Tony Lovasco, R-O’Fallon, came amid riots and looting in Minneapolis sparked by the death of George Floyd, a black man who died after a white police officer named Derek Chauvin pinned his knee on Floyd’s neck for eight minutes.

It also came after President Donald Trump tweeted about sending the military to Minneapolis to impose order and warned, “when the looting starts, the shooting starts,” prompting Twitter to flag the post as “glorifying violence.”

Lovasco, who had condemned the officer’s actions and called the looting "predictable" after city leaders waited days to arrest him, quickly attracted replies reporting him for inciting violence and calling for his resignation.

“You are disgusting,” one person wrote. “Absolutely disgusting.”

Lovasco also tweeted a screenshot of another post suggesting the lawmaker himself should be shot.

Lovasco responded to the criticism in several other tweets and an interview with the News-Leader.

“Many have missed my point," he wrote in one post. "1) Trump was wrong to threaten looters with being shot. 2) If you loot & a property owner shoots you, I have no sympathy. 3) I’m not telling anyone to shoot anybody, just saying what I think people deserve.”

In an interview, he added, “I’m not encouraging people to hunt down looters or vigilante justice. I’m just saying if people use deadly force to defend their property, the people on the other side of that shouldn’t be too surprised if that’s a result.”

He added that people should avoid using deadly force when possible.

“If you can defuse a situation without using violence, you should always do that,” he said. “But in plenty of situations where someone is violently entering your property, possibly they’re there to do you harm, possibly they just want a TV, using force in those situations, yeah, it’s going to be on the table.”

During the interview, House Minority Leader Crystal Quade released a statement calling Lovasco unfit for office.

“Anyone who commits a crime should prosecuted and punished appropriately,” she said. “But an elected official who advocates for extrajudicial murder is just as lawless as those he condemns and is unfit to hold public office.”

Asked about calls for him to resign, Lovasco replied simply, “No.”