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Statement from Sandy Hook Promise on the Garlic Festival Shooting

Newtown, CT — On the evening of Sunday, July 28th, at least one gunman opened fire at the annual Gilroy Garlic Festival in Gilroy, CA killing three people, including 6-year-old Stephen Romero, and injuring at least 12 others.

In response, Sandy Hook Promise issued the following statement:

“My heart is with the city of Gilroy and all who are affected. We cannot accept mass shootings to be the “new normal” in our country. Mass shootings are not normal, and everyone, especially children, have a right to feel safe when visiting any public space. In July alone, at least 11 children under the age of 12 have been shot and killed in this country. We deserve better. Our children deserve better. Sadly, no community is immune to gun violence, but we do have the tools to train people how to ‘Know The Signs’ of someone in crisis to help curb this epidemic of gun violence that is plaguing our country. We all must speak up if we see someone exhibiting at-risk behaviors to better protect our children and communities,” said Mark Barden, co-founder and managing director of Sandy Hook Promise, and father of Daniel who was killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary Shooting.

To date, more than 7.5 million people nationwide have been trained in Sandy Hook Promise’s proven Know the Signs programs that focus on prevention to help end the epidemic of gun violence by training youth and adults how to identify at-risk behavior and intervene to get help before a tragedy can occur. Through these no-cost programs, Sandy Hook Promise has averted multiple school shooting plots, teen suicides, and countless other acts of violence.


About Sandy Hook Promise: Sandy Hook Promise (SHP) is a national nonprofit organization based in Newtown, Connecticut. 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.  SHP’s mission is to prevent gun violence and other forms of violence and victimization BEFORE they can happen by creating a culture of engaged youth and adults committed to identifying, intervening, and getting help for individuals who might be at risk of hurting themselves or others.  SHP is a moderate, above-the-politics organization that supports sensible program and policy solutions that address the “human side” of gun violence by preventing individuals from ever getting to the point of picking up a firearm to hurt themselves or others. Our words, actions, and impact nationwide are intended to honor all victims of gun violence by turning our tragedy into a moment of transformation. Make the Promise at