ORLANDO, Fla. – The Florida chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, part of Everytown for Gun Safety, today responded to reports that four children were shot and killed in Orlando. On Sunday evening, police received a domestic violence call and attempted to arrest the alleged gunman when a shootout began, injuring Officer Kevin Valencia. At some point during the nearly 24-hour standoff that followed, the alleged gunman killed the four children – aged 1, 6, 10 and 11 – before killing himself. Reports indicate that two of the children were his and two were the children of the domestic violence victim.
Research by Everytown for Gun Safety shows that this is at least the 184th mass shooting since January 2009. News of this shooting broke as the Orlando community prepared to mark two years since the mass shooting at Pulse nightclub that killed 49 people and wounded 53 others. This is at least the 35th mass shooting since Pulse. Everytown defines mass shootings as those in which four or more people are shot and killed, excluding the shooter.
The majority of mass shootings between 2009 and 2016 – 54 percent – were related to domestic or family violence. Additionally, gun violence has a devastating impact on children. Every day, an average of 47 children and teens are shot in America, killing over 2,700 a year and injuring nearly 14,500 more. Sadly, gun-related deaths are now the third leading cause of death for American children.
STATEMENT FROM GAY VALIMONT, VOLUNTEER LEADER WITH THE FLORIDA CHAPTER OF MOMS DEMAND ACTION FOR GUN SENSE IN AMERICA:
“I am utterly heartbroken to wake up to news of yet another tragic act of gun violence in our state. This time, four children were killed and a police officer was critically wounded. As a mother, my heart aches for the victims and their families. We can and must do more to prevent these senseless acts of gun violence from devastating our communities. It’s time for each of us to stand up and demand the policy changes that are necessary to save lives and allow our children to grow up safely.”