NEWTOWN, Conn. – Three faculty were killed and one injured in a school shooting on the campus of University of Nevada at Las Vegas (UNLV) on Wednesday afternoon, less than five miles from the site of the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history: the 2017 Route 91 Harvest Country Music Festival.
Reports from local authorities indicate that this was a planned attack and that the gun used by the perpetrator was purchased legally. The perpetrator had 150 rounds of ammunition on him and police suspect he may have been en route to the student union, a central location for gathering on campus.
One thing is certain: no student nor educator should have to fear for their lives while in school. This relentless violence should not have to be our reality, and Sandy Hook Promise remains steadfast in its commitment to protecting school communities and stopping gun violence.
In 2023, there have been 80 school shootings – more than any year since 2008.
Next week marks 11 years since the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary in which 26 students and educators were killed in their classrooms, and yet, families continue to be torn apart by senseless gun violence on campuses. The leaders of Sandy Hook Promise, who formed the organization after the loss of their loved ones, intimately understand the enduring trauma that the University of Las Vegas community will experience because of this shooting. In the last 10 years, these leaders have transformed their grief into action, working to enshrine schools and campuses as safe places so educators, students and their parents can relinquish the overwhelming fear of becoming a victim of gun violence.
In response, Nicole Hockley, co-founder and CEO of Sandy Hook Promise and mother of Dylan, who was killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy, issued the following statement:
“We are heartbroken for the families of those killed in this tragedy and the survivors affected. No words can accurately reflect the enormous grief experienced by losing a loved one to such senseless violence. In the face of persistent inaction, we must do everything we can to protect all schools from the gun violence epidemic.
“Despite what seems like a never-ending crisis, the issue is not helpless, and there are actions we can each take to be a part of the solution.
“It’s imperative that we advocate for policies that make it harder for people to buy and own lethal weapons if they are deemed a danger to themselves or others, in addition to laws such as the GOSAFE Act which regulate the use of devices that can make firearms more deadly.
“Knowing and responding to warning signs is another critical component of preventing tragedy. Sandy Hook Promise’s Know the Signs programming empowers students, and trusted adults to understand the warning signs of violence and take action to prevent violence. In this last year, we have been able to avert 16 planned school shootings as a result of the effectiveness of Know the Signs. Preventing tragedy is possible, we cannot become complacent as we work to keep our communities safe from gun violence.”
Sandy Hook Promise (SHP) envisions a future where all children are free from school shootings and other acts of violence. As a national nonprofit organization, SHP’s mission is to educate and empower youth and adults to prevent violence in schools, homes, and communities. Creators of the life-saving, evidence-informed “Know the Signs” prevention programs, SHP teaches the warning signs of someone who may be in crisis, socially isolated, or at-risk of hurting themselves or others and how to get help. SHP also advances school safety, youth mental health, and responsible gun ownership at the state and federal levels through nonpartisan policy and partnerships. SHP is 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