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Mother of Sandy Hook shooting victim is 'brokenhearted all over again' after Texas massacre

Estimated read time: 2-3 minutes

SALT LAKE CITY — One mom who knows all too well how the families of the Texas shooting victims are feeling is Michele Gay. Her daughter, Josephine, was killed 10 years ago in the Sandy Hook shooting.

"We're just brokenhearted all over again — for our own loss and experiences, but more than anything, for those families and for that community," Gay told KSL-TV in an interview Tuesday afternoon.

Gay's family was one of 20 families that lost children in that 2012 mass shooting in Connecticut.

The shooting in Uvalde, Texas, on Tuesday is the deadliest at a U.S. elementary school since that day.

"I have to remember, on a night like tonight, and I'm emotional, admittedly; I promised that I wouldn't give up," Gay said.

Since 2012, she and Alissa Parker, another mother of a child killed in the Sandy Hook shooting, have co-founded a nonprofit called "Safe and Sound Schools" — a place that offers resources to educators, families, and communities. The goal of the nonprofit is to promote safety at schools. The nonprofit doesn't just focus on gun policies, but on community, emergency management, and physical and emotional safety.

Gay said solving this problem that has resulted in 30 elementary school shootings just this year isn't an easy fix.

"That's the problem," she said. "There is not one thing; it will take all of us approaching these issues in our communities."

When it comes to how people can help, she said love, prayer and support were a big part of what carried her and her family through their tragedy.

"The most meaningful thing we can do right now is send them our love, and for those of us who pray, our prayers because those are really powerful things."

Gay said there will be a time to fight for change, but that time isn't right now. Right now is for those who are grieving.

"I think right now is a sacred time, and we should all be very protective of those families — those that have been lost and the community."

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Debbie Worthen


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