FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 16, 2022
Joint Statement from PAGV Co-Chairs Bronx DA Darcel D. Clark and Santa Barbara County DA Joyce Dudley:
The atrocity in Buffalo that took ten lives and wounded three others is as infuriating as it is heartbreaking. The world feels pain for the families that lost their loved ones and we pray to heal the survivors in Buffalo.
This tragedy combines the absurdity that a person too young to buy cigarettes can legally purchase an assault rifle; lax background checks that allowed a person with documented mental health problems to have such a weapon; and worst of all, the racist hatred stoked online by media that incites such violence.
The 18-year-old shooter ascribed to “replacement theory,” the fear that the white population in our nation is being supplanted by people of color.
He chose the particular area in Buffalo due to its black population and allegedly slaughtered them because of their race.
He was referred for mental health counseling less than a year ago when he made threats in his high school to shoot fellow students. His parents knew that he recently purchased three weapons, and they were aware that he previously purchased the tactical gear worn yesterday.
We must regulate guns and prohibit assault weapons from being sold to the general public without proper background checks that include mental health.
It is more urgent than ever since mass shootings are increasingly stemming from racial hatred, an abomination that is sadly become too common in this country.
PAGV is an independent coalition of approximately 60 prosecutors from diverse jurisdictions throughout the United States, working toward solutions to end gun violence. The group is co-chaired by Bronx District Attorney Darcel D. Clark and Santa Barbara County District Attorney Joyce Dudley, and brings together prosecutors to discuss policies, legislation, and strategies to help prevent and confront gun violence in their jurisdictions.