Singer Marilyn Manson has defended himself for pointing a fake rifle during a concert in San Bernardino, calling the act a part of his "theatre".
The singer performed a show at Knotfest Meets Ozzfest in San Bernardino, California, on Sunday, just hours after Texas church shooting during which a gunman with an assault rifle killed at least 26 people during Sunday services.
Manson caused outrage when he turned a fake gun on his concert audience.
The singer on Monday issued a statement about the move, calling it "an act of theatre in an attempt to make a statement".
He said: "In an era where mass shootings have become a nearly daily occurrence. This was an act of theatre in an attempt to make a statement about how easily accessible semi-automatic weapons are and how seeing them has become normalised.
"My art has always been a reaction to popular culture and my way to make people think about the horrible things that happen in this world. My performance was not meant to be disrespectful or show any insensitivity. The prop... I used on stage was handed to me with the approval of a police officer. My empathy goes out to anyone who has been affected by the irresponsible and reprehensible misuse of real guns."
Video footage shows Manson pointing the gun at the crowd from a wheelchair -- the concert was his first since he broke his leg after an onstage accident in September.