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Community members plant daffodils to remember gun violence victims

Published: Thursday, Oct. 18 2012 7:09 a.m. MDT

Italia Ortega, 5, looks at a photo of her mother and herself during a news conference at Tracy Aviary in Salt Lake City on Wednesday, Oct. 17, 2012. Gun violence victim Christina Trujillo was killed in 2010. Politicians and community members gathered to take part in the annual daffodil planting in support of YWCA's Week Without Violence. The daffodils honor gun violence victims and serve as symbols of hope for the community.

Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

SALT LAKE CITY — Angie Vorher fought back tears as she shared the story of how her daughter was killed in a senseless act of violence.

With three grandchildren at her side, Voher told those gathered Wednesday at Tracy Aviary how Christina Trujillo was shot and killed in May 2010 after being stalked by a man she met at a dance. The man then turned the gun on himself, she said.

"He showed up again at her office and got her to go outside and talk to her and then shot her right there in the parking lot," she said.

Vorher joined local leaders and law enforcement officials at Tracy Aviary on Wednesday in support of YWCA's Week Without Violence to plant daffodils in remembrance of gun violence victims.

"We have violence that goes on in our communities and our own neighborhoods," Salt Lake County Mayor Peter Corroon said. "Sometimes we don't see it behind closed doors, but it is happening."

Trujillo left behind five children, Jerry, Italia, Andres, Marco and Lali, three of whom were with Vorher at the emotional event.

"Gun violence hurts not only the family members and the children who cry out at night, afraid that now their mother will never come back," Vorher said. "Gun violence affects the community. My daughter was loved by everybody. But for some reason, someone who was sick, someone who was a stalker, someone who could not leave her alone and leave her in peace, took her away from her family, her loved ones, her community."

Salt Lake City Police Chief Chris Burbank said gun ownership comes with "tremendous responsibility."

"That is something that each and every one of us needs to be aware of," Burbank said. "If you have firearms in your home, do not allow children to have access. They need to be locked away."

It's also important, he said, to keep guns out of the hands of those who shouldn't have them.

The daffodil planting at Tracy Aviary marked the 10th anniversary since the Gun Violence Prevention Center started planting flowers at Liberty Park. Over the past decade, the group has have planted daffodils at locations around the county.

"I think I had some illusion that gun violence statistics would go down, and we're not going to lose that hope," said Dee Rowland, chairwoman of the Gun Violence Prevention Center. "When our legislators work to loosen gun regulations, we try to be there to speak out in opposition and to try to get data out there."

Rowland said abused women are five times more likely to be killed by the abuser if the abuser owns a firearm. In addition, domestic violence assaults involving a firearm are 23 times more likely to result in death than those involving other weapons or bodily force, she said.

Twitter: @FinleyJY

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