Castro was the first candidate to mention the Texas shooting in which a white police officer shot and killed a black woman, Atatiana Jefferson.
He got big applause for mentioning police shootings as gun violence and talking about growing up in Texas against the backdrop of gun violence.
“Police violence is also gun violence and we need to address that,” he said.
Castro said he is against mandatory and voluntary gun buybacks but he did not directly address how he plans to stop violence committed by handguns versus assault weapons.
Jefferson, meanwhile, was like a disproportionate share of those who die in police shootings each year, black and unarmed.
Prior to Tuesday’s debate, Castro, a Texas native, Warren,Booker, Harris, Sanders, O’Rourke, Steyer and Yang all posted public statements on Twitter expressing outrage, sympathy for Jefferson’s family or calls for investigation and reform.
On Tuesday night, only Castro mentioned Jefferson by name.
Read NBC News’ report on how the shooting — coming on the heels of the sentencing of a former Dallas police officer in the killing of her neighbor, Botham Jean — is fueling tensions with police in Forth Worth.