The West Virginia chapter of Moms Demand Action, part of Everytown for Gun Safety’s grassroots networks, released the following statement in response to a shooting of a family inside a residence in Mink Shoals, West Virginia. According to reporting, investigators believe that the father shot and killed his wife and their 5-year-old daughter, and wounded their 18-month-old daughter, before killing himself. The father had been previously charged in 2018 with two counts of domestic battery, with one of the counts involving his wife. He was also recently arrested in February 2021 on a domestic battery charge where his wife was the alleged victim.
“Domestic violence and gun violence are deeply interconnected, and far too often leave devastating impacts on our communities,” said Dee Price Childers, a volunteer with the West Virginia chapter of Moms Demand Action. “This terrible tragedy is a poignant reminder that we must do everything we can to ensure that West Virginia’s families are safe, including working to disarm domestic abusers and protect women and children from this kind of gun violence.”
Nationally, between 2015 and 2019, 3,408 women were shot and killed by their partner, and 59 percent of all intimate partner homicides are committed with a gun. Research shows that access to a gun in a domestic violence situation makes it five times more likely that the woman will be killed. In an average year in West Virginia, 75 people die by gun homicide and 235 people die by gun suicide. This translates to 11.9 suicides per 100,000 people — the 6th highest gun suicide rate in the country. More information about the strong links between domestic violence and gun violence can be found here. Resources for victims of domestic violence in West Virginia can be found here. More information about gun violence in West Virginia can be found here.