Statement of Suffolk County District Attorney Rachael Rollins on Recent Gun Violence Across the United States

Boston, August 4, 2019 – Suffolk County District Attorney Rachael Rollins today released the following statement on recent acts of gun violence across the country:

This week was bookended by violence. 

It began in Gilroy, California, when a shooter opened fire on families who were spending the day at the city’s celebrated Garlic Festival. The shooting claimed the lives of three people -- 6-year-old Stephen Romero, 13-year-old Keyla Salazar, and 25-year-old Trevor Irby. Sixteen people were wounded.

Less than a week later, a gunman opened fire at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas. At least 20 people were killed, and 26 others were wounded during the shooting. It was the deadliest day in the country this year. 

Hours later, another gunman opened fire on a group of people in line at a nightclub in Dayton, Ohio. 9 people were killed and 27 injured. Their names have not yet been released to the public.

The violence in Dayton, Ohio, which took place on the 216th day of the year, marked the 251st mass shooting of 2019, according to the Gun Violence Archive

Vigils are being held across the country for the victims of these senseless acts of violence, and of course Suffolk County and the city of Boston stand arm and arm with people of Gilroy, El Paso, and Dayton. We know the strength of solidarity. We remember cities uniting behind us when we experienced terror at the finish line of the Boston Marathon six years ago. 

Sadly, these stories of pain and resilience are too familiar. They are a part of a seemingly endless cycle of violence we refuse to address with the urgency it deserves. 

Thoughts and prayers do not keep our festivals, stores, nightclubs, schools, marathons, movie theaters, churches, or streets safe. We must do more. 

Our office is committed to working with all parties dedicated to ensuring that this week is an anomaly in our history. We hope to look back at this time in our country’s past with shock and unfamiliarity, wondering why it took us so long to take action on this public safety epidemic. 

We can do better. We must do better.

Renee Algarin