HELENA — On Friday in Helena, about 30 people gathered to mark ten years since the deadly shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School.
The group Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America held a remembrance vigil at the Montana State Capitol.
The mass shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, took place on December 14, 2012. A man shot and killed 26 victims – 20 children and six adults. Organizers of Friday’s vigil also identified an additional victim: the father of one of those killed, who later died by suicide.
At the vigil, they displayed photos and read the names of each victim, then rang a bell 27 times. Those in attendance carried small lights in the shape of candles.
“We just don’t want to see any more kids die,” said Beckie Squires, state co-lead for Moms Demand Action.
The event was planned in advance, but Squires say she felt it had added resonance Friday, after a series of false threats were reported to schools across Montana.
“The parents got text messages that there was an active shooter and they were in lockdown, and it was all a hoax,” she said. “It’s very, very traumatic for everybody.”
The group is currently focusing on a campaign called “Be SMART,” which encourages gun owners to store their firearms securely, to keep them out of the hands of children.
Squires said Moms Demand Action has been holding vigils in Helena to remember Sandy Hook since 2017.