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California Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action Respond to San Bernardino Police Fatally Shooting Ryan Gainer


SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. — The California chapters of Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, both part of Everytown for Gun Safety’s grassroots network, issued the following statements on the shooting of 15-year-old Ryan Gainer. According to reports, San Bernardino Police shot and killed Ryan Gainer, a Black autistic boy, after officials were dispatched to his home after relatives called 911 seeking help with a mental health crisis. 

“My heart is broken for Ryan’s loved ones and those impacted by this tragedy. The pain of watching police shoot and kill your child is unimaginable – especially when his family reached out to law enforcement for help,” said Mia Livas Porter, a gun violence survivor and volunteer with the California chapter of Moms Demand Action. “Ryan Gainer should be here with his family today and we join the calls for a thorough and transparent investigation.” 

“There’s no reason Ryan Gainer shouldn’t be alive today. Mental health crises should be met with care and compassion, not gun violence,” said Santos Candelario, a volunteer with the UC Berkeley Students Demand Action chapter. “Police violence is gun violence, and it disproportionately impacts Black youth time and again. These gut wrenching tragedies are preventable and we’ll continue to fight so the next generation of youth don’t have to live in constant fear of being shot.”

Black Americans are 2.8 times more likely to be shot by police than white Americans. In an average year, 3,253 people die and 7,293 are wounded by guns in California. California ranks 45th in both gun death rates and societal cost of gun violence at $1,060 per person each year. Gun deaths and injuries cost California $41.9 billion, of which $1.1 billion is paid by taxpayers. More information about gun violence in California is available here.