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South Dakota Moms, Everytown Respond to News that Four Children and Their Mother Were Shot to Death in Murder Suicide In Platte

In First Mass Shooting in South Dakota since 2009, Authorities Determined that Platte Shooter Killed His Wife and Four Children before Killing Himself and Setting Fire to Family Home

PLATTE, SOUTH DAKOTA — The South Dakota chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, part of Everytown for Gun Safety, today released the following statement in response to news that four children and their mother were killed in a murder-suicide. The release comes after authorities revealed the cause of death for Nicole Westerhuis and her children, Kailey, Jaeci, Connor and Michael, to be homicide by shotgun. The shooter was Nicole’s husband, who turned the gun on himself after killing his family.

This is the first mass shooting – which the FBI defines as a shooting that kills at least four people in addition to the shooter – in South Dakota since Everytown began tracking them in 2009. Since 2009, there have been mass shootings in 41 states, including South Dakota.


STATEMENT FROM JULIE PARKER, VOLUNTEER, SOUTH DAKOTA CHAPTER OF MOMS DEMAND ACTION:

“Our hearts are broken over this senseless, domestic violence tragedy – a kind of gun violence that happens all too often,” said Julie Parker, a member of the South Dakota Chapter of Moms Demand Action.

“Next month marks Domestic Violence Awareness Month and we urge our lawmakers – in South Dakota and Congress — to consider ways to stem the tide of violence against women and children. We know that in states with laws aimed at preventing domestic abusers from obtaining guns, women are safer. We all must do whatever it takes to keep our communities safe from such violence. Our thoughts and prayers are with the community of Platte.”

Additional Research on Domestic Violence and Firearms: