Brother of murdered journalist, mother of Parkland shooting victim speak at King County gun violence summit

SEATTLE  --  Tuesday marked the first of two nights focused on the prevention of gun violence in King County.  The King County Board of Health is hosting the summit.

Those in attendance say this is about bringing people together to have a conversation; advocates, policymakers and just regular people from the community. The goal is to put a spotlight on regional efforts to prevent gun violence through a public health lens.

Another goal of the summit is to talk about the importance of having better data to make better decisions to identify risk.  We heard from the mother of a 16-year-old girl, named Carmen; shot and killed in the Parkland shooting last year.

Her mom says the family moved to the Seattle-area to heal.  She says school shootings are just one aspect of the gun violence issue and her goal is to push for change and common-sense gun laws.

“I really feel like my daughter’s death could have been prevented. There were so many things that should have happened but didn’t. There’s a lot of warning signs for people who are violent, but if they have a firearm, they are more likely to cause harm to someone else or themselves,” says April Schentrup.

Also in attendance tonight, the big brother of television news photojournalist, Adam Ward, shot and killed alongside reporter Alison Parker during a live broadcast in Roanoke, Virginia back in 2015.

“Silence will only allow these tragedies to continue to occur. I choose to speak tod ay for two reasons. This is one way I keep my brother alive. While Adam’s voice has been silenced, he changed many lives in 27 years and I believe he will continue to do so long after his death. And because the stories of victims and survivors of gun violence need to be heard,” says Jay Ward.

People in attendance tonight say this summit is about gun violence prevention, awareness and education. The summit continues tomorrow night at the YWCA Greenbridge Learning Center on 8th Ave. in Seattle – it starts at 6pm.