November 5, 2017—Former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords issued the following statement responding to the mass shooting in Sutherland Springs, Texas.

STATEMENT BY CONGRESSWOMAN GIFFORDS

“I am heartbroken to hear that once again a place for peace and prayer became a scene of horror and fear. My heart is with the people of First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, their families and friends, and the first responders who rushed to the scene.

“The alarming frequency with which we watch terrifying scenes unfold in our communities is devastating – and it’s not normal. Every single day, 93 Americans are killed with a gun in our country. In 2016, the number of gun deaths spiked to 38,000. Since the massacre in Las Vegas that took the lives of 58 people and injured hundreds more, there have been 33 mass shootings reported in America, in states like Maryland, Ohio, and California. Today’s shooting in Texas brings that number to 34.

“Churches, schools, and parks should always be safe spaces, where families and friends can gather without fear of violence. But that’s not the America we’re living in today. I am praying that our lawmakers find the courage to face our nation’s gun violence problem. We can build a safer future for our children, but preventing future tragedies requires a president who acknowledges our gun violence problem and members of Congress who will stand up to the gun lobby and take action to save lives. This must stop. The time for action is now.”

EXPERTS AVAILABLE FOR INTERVIEWS

The following firearms law and law enforcement experts are available for interviews:

  • Peter Ambler, Executive Director, Giffords

  • Robyn Thomas, Executive Director, Giffords Law Center

  • Allison Anderman, Managing Attorney, Giffords Law Center

  • David Chipman, Former ATF Agent, Senior Policy Advisor, Giffords

  • Laura Cutilletta, Legal Director, Giffords Law Center

  • Ari Freilich, Staff Attorney, Giffords Law Center

  • Robin Lloyd, Director of Government Affairs, Giffords

  • Lindsay Nichols, Federal Policy Director, Giffords Law Center

  • Adam Skaggs, Chief Counsel, Giffords Law Center

  • Hannah Shearer, Staff Attorney, Giffords Law Center

WHAT WE KNOW ABOUT THIS SHOOTING

  • At 11:30 AM CT, a lone gunman entered the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas an opened-fire on the churchgoers. [NBC 4], [New York Times]

  • The alleged shooter is dead. He was killed after a brief chase north into neighboring Guadalupe County. It is unclear if the shooter was killed by police or took his own life. Authorities have not identified him. [KSAT], [ABC 15], [CNN], [New York Times]

  • The FBI and ATF are assisting with the investigation. [ABC 15], [KSAT]

  • Sutherland Springs is a town with a population of roughly 362, and is located 35 miles east of San Antonio. [ABC 15]