BREAKING NEWS: A day after five children and a caregiver died when a gunman opened fire at a children’s Mercy Hospital, parents of the five victims spoke out.
California Hospital Survivors, a coalition of mothers and fathers who have lost children to hospitals across the state, spoke out after the shootings at the Beverly Hills Hospital.
“This is a horrific and tragic loss for us and for all of our children,” said Sarah Koehler, whose son, Dylan, died in the shooting.
“Our hearts go out to all the families affected by this horrific event and to the entire community.”
“I think we should be holding accountable those who killed these children and their families,” said the Rev. Mark E. Luskin, president of California Survivors, the group that has led the effort to reach out to the families of the victims.
“We have a responsibility to the parents, to the community, to hold accountable whoever committed this terrible act.”
Luskin told reporters that while the victims’ families are “in a state of shock and grief,” they are “feeling hopeful and hopeful that we will all move forward and that our children will be safe and that we’ll get through this together.”
“We have to work together to get our children back,” he said.
“They were kids that were not our fault, that they were the victims of this heinous act.
But we are not just going to walk away from this.
We’re going to have to go through it together.”
The five victims, who were children ranging in age from 1 to 6, were shot dead in a hallway on Monday.
The gunman, who was armed with an assault rifle, opened fire on children who were waiting to see a pediatrician.
Three children, ages 7, 9, and 12, died, as well as a caregaper, who police say was shot in the hand and leg.
The fifth child, a 6-year-old girl, survived.
According to police, the gunman, whose name was not released, had “lots of weapons” in his car and a concealed weapon license in the vehicle, as the Associated Press reported.
He was arrested shortly after the shooting and was booked into jail on multiple charges, including murder, attempted murder, assault with a firearm and possession of a weapon.
The gunman also reportedly made several threatening phone calls to a local CBS affiliate.
A spokesperson for the hospital said the gunman was taken into custody on a drug charge.
Police were working to determine his motives.