A man has killed his family this Monday in a church in Sacramento, the capital of California. The attack has left five dead, including the attacker, who committed suicide after killing three of his children, and another person, who has not yet been identified, but is believed to be a social worker or religious. The murderer committed suicide with the weapon in the same place, a Catholic temple, according to the county sheriff’s office, which offered a press conference this afternoon.
Rodney Grassmann, a spokesman for the sheriff’s office, explained to local reporters that the incident was not a random or mass shooting, but rather an episode of family violence. All the victims knew each other. These types of attacks are those that leave the largest number of victims of armed violence in the United States, the country with the most weapons in the world. The sheriff’s spokesman confirmed the relationship between the victims and the assailant, who has not been identified. The sex was also not specified.
Scott Jones, the Sacramento sheriff, has indicated that the mother of the victims was not involved in the incident and is collaborating with the authorities to make the facts clearer. The woman had a restraining order against her ex-husband, who was at the temple for a monitored visit with her children. “The shooter went in and killed whoever was supervising the visit, then killed his three children and then turned the gun on himself,” Jones said. Authorities have not reported the type or caliber of the weapon used.
Police responded to emergency calls made by a church employee who was on an upper floor minutes after 5 p.m. The officers went to The Church (the church), located northeast of the city. The bodies were found in the main area of the compound. At the press conference it was not specified if a service with more attendees was taking place at that time or if the victims belonged to the congregation.
“Another violent and senseless act in the United States. This one happened in our backyard. In a church with children inside. It’s devastating,” said Gavin Newsom, the governor of California, one of the states with the strictest gun regulation standards and who has been leading a pioneering campaign in recent weeks to combat arms trafficking and sales in the state. In 2020, the United States registered 2,270 minors killed by firearms, the largest cause of death for this sector of the population. Every year three million children are exposed to armed violence in this country due to injuries or trauma, according to the Giffords Center, a center for studies of regulation of the phenomenon.
The local president presented on February 18 an initiative that allows the inhabitants of the state to sue the manufacturers and distributors of assault and high-caliber weapons such as .50-caliber rifles and assembly parts known as ghost weapons.
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Newsom was inspired by Texas to create this rule. Republican lawmakers in the southern state have approved a series of controversial measures that allow any citizen to bring civil lawsuits against anyone who performs an abortion. The initiative was endorsed by the Supreme Court. The progressive governor said he would use the same logic to sue weapons manufacturers, who are virtually immune from a series of regulations passed decades ago. Newsom’s initiative aims to put that shield to civil litigation to the test.
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