NEWTOWN, Conn. — Friday, five people, the majority of whom were Honduran immigrants seeking safety from gang violence, were killed in a mass shooting in Cleveland, Texas, following another mass shooting on April 23 where nine young people were injured at an after-prom party in Jasper, Texas. According to the Gun Violence Archive there have been at least 184 mass shootings – where four or more people were killed or injured, excluding the shooter – in 2023.
Police in Cleveland, Texas had visited the shooter’s home before to speak with him about shooting a semi-automatic rifle in his yard, a common practice for residents in the area. It is unclear if any actions were taken.
In response, Mark Barden, co-founder and CEO of the Sandy Hook Promise Action Fund and father of Daniel, who was killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy, issued the following statement:
“Our hearts ache for the families and loved ones of those who were killed and injured during the latest mass shootings in Texas. Once again, two communities and a school are traumatized by unrelenting gun violence. The children shielded by adult victims survived, but will never fully recover. Students wounded by gunfire and seeing their friends being attacked will forever carry that memory attached to their prom, a teen life milestone. We each feel this collective pain.
“Mass shootings are routine in the U.S. In Cleveland, Texas, the victims had fled Honduras to escape violence only to be met with gun violence, at the hands of yet another person in legal possession of firearms in the U.S.
“As a nation, we barely take notice when people are gunned down — even though we are in the midst of a deadly, pervasive gun violence epidemic. Our public officials must take bold action to implement common-sense policies that address barriers to ending gun violence, at the state and federal level.
“We know how to stop mass shootings. Undisputed research proves that gun violence is preventable when we know the warning signs and take action to get help. Simple policy actions like background checks for all gun sales, secure storage, magazine limits for firearms, and extreme risk protection orders are proven to save lives and are remedies legislators can and must pass immediately. We are continually outraged by the refusal of public officials to pass and implement these policies.
The Sandy Hook Promise Action Fund (SHPAF) is a 501(c)(4) nonprofit organization committed to protecting all children from gun violence in schools, homes, and communities. The SHP Action Fund advances a holistic policy platform that promotes gun safety, youth mental health, and violence prevention education. The organization works at the state and federal level to pass nonpartisan legislation through inclusive partnerships, diverse grassroots education, and community mobilization. It is part of Sandy Hook Promise, founded and led by several family members whose loved ones were killed in the tragic mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School on December 14, 2012.
Aimee Thunberg | [email protected] | 646-761-5579