CHARLOTTE, N.C., July 20, 2012 – Billy Graham Rapid Response Team chaplains are on-site in Aurora, Colo., where a gunman opened fire on a theater full of moviegoers in the early hours of the morning. News reports indicate that at least 12 victims have died as a result of the shooting and dozens more are injured.
“Words can’t begin to describe the pain of this situation,” said Jack Munday, director of the Billy Graham Rapid Response Team. “We are grieving alongside the families of those killed and wounded in this senseless and horrific tragedy. Please pray for all of those who have been affected. We will be there to offer emotional and spiritual care, and the hope and compassion of Jesus Christ, in the aftermath.”
Chaplains were already in Colorado responding to wildfires in and around Colorado Springs and Fort Collins. This allowed them to respond immediately to the shooting in Aurora.
Previously, Billy Graham Rapid Response Team chaplains have deployed following shootings in Tucson, Az. (2011); Cumbria, U.K. (2010); Maryville, Ill., Carthage, N.C., Oakland, Calif., and Binghamton, N.Y. (2009); Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, Ill. (2008); Virginia Tech University in Blacksburg, Va., Crandon, Wis., and Arvada, Colo. (2007); and the Red Lake Indian Reservation in Minn. (2005).
The Billy Graham Rapid Response Team is a nationwide network of chaplains across 47 states that are specifically trained to deal with crisis situations. Since the ministry was launched in 2002, it has responded to more than 135 natural and man-made disasters, including hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, fires and shootings.