FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 18, 2022
Joint Statement from PAGV Co-Chairs Bronx DA Darcel D. Clark and Santa Barbara County DA Joyce Dudley:
“It is inconceivable that there could be two murderous hate crimes perpetrated in one weekend in America, but that is just what happened.
“The shooting at the Geneva Presbyterian Church in Laguna Woods, CA on Sunday that killed one Asian American man and wounded five other Asian Americans was allegedly an act of politically-motivated hate. According to the Gun Violence Archive, this marks the 18th mass shooting in California alone this year.
“The suspect, a 68-year-old man from Las Vegas, appears to have chosen the church targeting the Taiwanese community, over the tensions between China and Taiwan.
“It came one day after the Buffalo, NY massacre that was motivated by racial hatred.
“All shootings affect the victims, their loved ones and their community, creating a horrible ripple effect. But shootings motivated by race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation or political hatred affect every member of the targeted group, creating ripples that cross oceans.
“The shooter used a gun he purchased legally. We must make sure that extensive background checks are done. It is more urgent than ever, since mass shootings are increasingly stemming from hatred.”
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.