LIST: Gun Violence Victims Attending State of the Union
At tonight's State of the Union, victims of gun violence are set to be in attendance as the guests of lawmakers. According to reports, the White House and Democratic lawmakers have invited more than 30 shooting victims or their surviving family members and friends to attend the president's speech. Those guests include several people tied to the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.
Former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, who was severely wounded in a shooting in 2011, will be in attendance. First lady Michelle Obama will be accompanied by the parents of Hadiya Pendleton, the 15-year-old Chicago teenager shot to death last month, shortly after she took part in the inaugural parade.
So far, no Republican members have announced any gun violence victims as their guests to date.
Below is a list of gun victims set to be in attendance:
- Cleopatra Cowley-Pendleton and Nathaniel A. Pendleton Sr. (Chicago, Ill.), as a guest to First Lady Michelle Obama
- Cleopatra and Nathaniel's daughter Hadiya Pendleton was murdered on January 29, 2013, when she was shot and killed in Harsh Park on Chicago's South Side. Hadiya had participated in President Obama's public inaugural celebration on January 21, 2013.
- Lieutenant Brian Murphy (Oak Creek, Wis.), as a guest to First Lady Michelle Obama
- Lieutenant Brian Murphy was the first police officer to arrive at the scene of the tragic Sikh temple shooting in Oak Creek, Wisconsin last August. Lt. Murphy directly confronted the shooter, and took fifteen bullets to his head, neck, and body before the rest of the police force arrived.
- Kaitlin Roig (Greenwich, Conn.), as a guest to First Lady Michelle Obama
- 1st Grade Teacher, Sandy Hook Elementary School
- Carlos Soto, as a guest to Rep. Rosa Delauro (D-CT), as a guest to Rep. Rosa Delauro (D-CT)
- Brother of Victoria Soto, a teacher who was killed in the Sandy Hook shooting
- Teresa Hoover, as a guest to Rep. Ed Perlmutter, (D-CO)
- Who lost her son A.J. Boik in the Aurora movie theater shooting last summer.
- Carole Price, as a guest to Rep. Chris Van Hollen, (D-MD)
- Whose 13-year-old son John was accidentally shot and killed in 1998 by a 9-year-old neighbor. Price helped lead a successful effort in 2000 to require internal, mechanical trigger locks on handguns sold in Maryland.
- House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi will also host a fourth grade student and her mother, both from Newtown, Conn., the location of a shooting massacre in December. Her office is not releasing the name of the student or mother.
- Rep. Jim Langevin (D-RI) invited one of his constituents, Jim Tyrell, to attend the president's address as his guest. Tyrell's sister, Debbie, was murdered in 2004 during a robbery at a convenience store she owned in Providence, R.I. The shooter has never been caught.
- Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY) , whose husband Dennis was killed in the 1993 Long Island Rail Road rampage that also wounded her son, Kevin, has invited Chief John Aresta of Malverne, New York to be her guest. Aresta has lost two people close to him in acts of gun violence. In 1989, when he was a member of the NYPD, his partner was killed while responding to a domestic dispute call. In 1993, Aresta's uncle James Gorycki was killed in the same mass shooting that claimed McCarthy's husband.