Survivor of Aurora Theater Massacre, Families of Victims, Newtown Families, and Faith Leaders Hold Remembrance Event in Aurora Marking One-Year Anniversary of Shooting

Jul 19, 2013, 15:10 ET from Mayors Against Illegal Guns

Participants Read Names of Thousands of Americans Killed by Gun Violence, Hold Moment of Silence for Aurora Victims at 12:38 a.m. When Shooting Occurred

Event is Part of "No More Names: National Drive to Reduce Gun Violence" Bus Tour;

AURORA, Colo., July 19, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A survivor of the Aurora theater shooting, families of victims, Newtown families, and faith leaders gathered in Aurora today for a remembrance event to mark the one-year anniversary of the mass shooting at the Century 16 movie theater that killed 12 people and injured another 70. Participants and community members honored the memories of the Aurora victims and joined together in a call to action, urging America's leaders to take meaningful action to reduce gun violence nationwide and help prevent future tragedies.

After a press conference featuring remarks from the group, participants read the names of thousands of gun violence victims from across the country who have been killed since the December 2012 Newtown massacre. The reading of names will last until 12:38 a.m. on Saturday, July 20th, when attendees will observe a moment of silence at the exact time of the July 2012 shooting in Aurora.

Participants included: Stephen Barton, a survivor of the Aurora theater shooting and an Outreach and Policy Associate with the bipartisan coalition Mayors Against Illegal Guns; Tom Sullivan, whose 27-year-old son Alex was killed in the Aurora theater shooting; Carlee Soto, whose sister Victoria, a teacher at Sandy Hook Elementary School, was killed in the Newtown shooting; Jane Dougherty, whose sister Mary Sherlach, a psychologist at Sandy Hook Elementary School, was killed in the Newtown shooting; Coni Sanders, whose father Dave Sanders, a teacher, was killed in the 1999 Columbine High School shooting; Rabbi Joseph R. Black of Temple Emanuel; and Pastor Del Phillips of the House Worship Center.

"As amazed as I am that a year has passed since I was almost killed in Aurora, I'm even more shocked that our elected leaders in Washington have accomplished nothing in that time to make such horrific tragedies less likely," said Stephen Barton, a survivor of the Aurora shooting and an Outreach and Policy Associate with Mayors Against Illegal Guns. "Thousands of Americans have been murdered with firearms since last July, but our gun laws remain dangerously lax and loophole-ridden. How many more must die or be injured by a gun before Washington acts?"

"I will forever live with the immense grief that comes with losing a child," said Tom Sullivan, whose 27-year-old son Alex was killed in the Aurora theater shooting. "Too many people had to bury their loved ones after the massacre in Aurora, and too many Americans continue to see the tragic toll of gun violence each and every day in this country. As we remember my son and the victims of Aurora today, I hope our nation will take meaningful action to protect our families by keeping guns out of the wrong hands – so no more fathers have to experience this anguish."

"It's been more than six months since my sister Vicki was brutally gunned down while trying to protect her students in Newtown," said Carlee Soto, whose sister Victoria was a teacher at Sandy Hook Elementary School. "To honor her memory – and the memories of the countless Americans who have been murdered with guns – our leaders must take sensible steps to reduce gun violence and help save lives. The families of gun violence victims – in Aurora, Newtown, and across the country – deserve nothing less."

"I urge Washington to pass common-sense gun laws and stand with those of us who are sadly all too familiar with the tragic consequences of gun violence," said Jane Dougherty, a Coloradan whose sister Mary Sherlach was killed in the Newtown mass shooting. "We cannot afford to sit idly by as more and more of our loved ones are killed with guns."

Every day, 33 Americans are murdered with guns in this country. "No More Names: National Drive to Reduce Gun Violence" is part of Mayors Against Illegal Guns' ongoing, national effort to continue raising awareness to the issue of gun violence in America and urge common-sense action that will help save lives. States on the tour include: Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, Wisconsin. For more information, please visit

About Mayors Against Illegal Guns

Since its creation in April 2006, Mayors Against Illegal Guns has grown from 15 members to more than 950 mayors from across the country. We have more than 1.5 million grassroots supporters, making us the largest gun violence prevention advocacy organization in the country.  The bipartisan coalition has united the nation's mayors around these common goals: protecting communities by holding gun offenders accountable; demanding access to crime gun trace data that is critical to law enforcement efforts to combat gun trafficking; and working with legislators to fix weaknesses and loopholes in the law that make it far too easy for criminals and other dangerous people to get guns. Learn more at

The coalition includes 13 member-mayors from Colorado: Golden Mayor and Mayors Against Illegal Guns Colorado Chairwoman Marjorie Sloan; Boulder Mayor Matthew Appelbaum; Denver Mayor Michael B. Hancock; Englewood Mayor Randy P. Penn; Lafayette Mayor Carolyn Cutler; Lakewood Mayor Bob Murphy; Louisville Mayor Robert Muckle; Manitou Springs Mayor Marc A. Snyder; Nederland Mayor Joe Gierlach; Northglenn Mayor Joyce Downing; Salida Mayor Don Stephens; Superior Mayor Andrew Muckle; and Telluride Mayor Stuart Fraser.

Alex Katz: or 617-721-3779
Stacey Radnor: or 202-870-6668
Stefanie Clarke: or 303-941-4844

SOURCE Mayors Against Illegal Guns