SHP Statement on Sutherland Springs Church Shooting



Dini von Mueffing Communications

Stephanie Morris



Sandy Hook Promise Releases Statement on Shooting in Sutherland Springs, TX


November 6, 2017 – Sunday we learned of the deadly mass shooting that claimed the lives of 26 people, including 14 children, and injured 20 others at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas. We feel the pain that this small, close-knit community is going through as it is all too similar to the 26 lives our small community lost almost 5 years ago. Our broken hearts are with the families that have lost innocent loved ones and whose lives are changed forever. We are so sorry for your pain.


Gun violence is far too common in our country, and an issue that we have become socially desensitized to – almost to the point of accepting it as the cost for our freedom in America. Two of the five deadliest shootings in the United States have happened in the last 35 days, and yet we are told it is still too soon to talk about gun violence. It is not too soon; it is too late. People should be able to attend church, a concert or school safely, and then come home again. The everyday nature of gun violence and its passive acceptance - instead of taking action to prevent it - is wrong and must stop.


“The 26 in Texas now join the 58 in Las Vegas, the 49 in Orlando, the 26 in Newtown, the 32 in Virginia, and the thousands of others who die by gun violence every year. It’s beyond time to talk about gun violence – the time to act is now,” said Nicole Hockley, Managing Director and Co-Founder of Sandy Hook Promise. Hockley’s son Dylan was 6 years old and one of 26 killed in the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School on December 14, 2012. “When horrific tragedies like this happen, we know people feel helpless or hopeless, as they wait for action from our government, which never comes. We must stand together to take real action and work for an end to gun violence in America. We know gun violence is preventable and that there are tangible actions we can take in our own communities to stop violence before it starts. We must take ownership and be personally accountable to keep our communities safe. When more people are engaged, when more voices are raised in outrage, when more actions are being taken, then Congress will have no choice but to listen to the people and pass legislation to sustain this change.”


Real action is educating people to know the signs of at-risk individuals and how to intervene and take action BEFORE violence occurs. Most mass shooters display warning signs that are either missed, misunderstood or ignored. Though it is early into the investigation, we already know the Texas shooter had been jailed for assault against his wife and child, and sent threatening messages to his mother-in-law.


We wrap our arms around the families and community of Sutherland Springs during this difficult time as they deal with the pain and sorrow today, and in the days and years to come. We are here beside you, along every step.


Join us to honor the lives lost and Make The Promise to help prevent gun violence, and support solutions that create safer, healthier homes, schools and communities.




About Sandy Hook Promise

Sandy Hook Promise (SHP) is a national, nonprofit organization based in Newtown, Connecticut. We are led by several family members whose loved ones were killed in the tragic mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School on December 14, 2012 that claimed the lives of 20 first-graders and 6 educators. SHP is focused on preventing gun violence (and other forms of violence and victimization) BEFORE it happens by educating and mobilizing youth and adults on mental health and wellness programs that identify, intervene and help at-risk individuals. SHP is a moderate, above-the-politics organization that supports sensible non-policy and policy solutions that protect children and prevent gun violence. Our intent is to honor all victims of gun violence by turning our tragedy into a moment of transformation. For more information, visit or call 203-304-9780.