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Hate Crime Gun Violence Survivors Comment on Mosque Shootings in Christchurch, New Zealand

NEW YORK – Two survivors of gun-related hate crimes, both members of the Everytown Survivor Network, a part of Everytown for Gun Safety, released the following statements in the wake of the shootings at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, that have killed at least 49 people and injured dozens more.

STATEMENT FROM REVEREND SHARON RISHER, A MEMBER OF THE EVERYTOWN SURVIVOR NETWORK WHOSE MOTHER, ETHEL LANCE, AND COUSINS, SUSIE JACKSON AND TYWANZA SANDERS, WERE SHOT AND KILLED ON JUNE 17, 2015, AT THE EMANUEL AME CHURCH IN CHARLESTON, SOUTH CAROLINA:

“I know all too well what these families are feeling today and wish this pain on no one. I’ve felt similar pain when my mother and two cousins were killed, while praying in church, by a man filled with hate and armed with a gun. We cannot let hate win. We cannot let hate take more lives. Today, I stand with the families and communities affected by this tragedy.”

STATEMENT FROM CHERYL STUMBO, A MEMBER OF THE EVERYTOWN SURVIVOR NETWORK WHO SURVIVED THE 2006 JEWISH FEDERATION SHOOTING IN SEATTLE, IN WHICH SIX WOMEN WERE SHOT, ONE FATALLY. CHERYL IS ALSO A SURVIVOR PROGRAM MANAGER FOR EVERYTOWN FOR GUN SAFETY:

“Time and time again, people from different nationalities, faiths and countries have seen that when hate comes armed with a gun, it’s deadly. These hate-fueled acts of gun violence have devastated countless families, friends and communities. No matter our background, we mourn with those affected, we cry with them and we stand by them.”