Governor Dannel P. Malloy and Lt. Governor Nancy Wyman released the following statements on the eve of the 20th anniversary of the shootings at the Connecticut Lottery headquarters in Newington, which took place on March 6, 1998.
Four lottery employees were killed in the shootings by a disgruntled co-worker who had recently returned from medical leave, including:
- Otho Brown (President of the Connecticut Lottery)
- Linda Mlynarczyk (Chief Financial Officer of the Connecticut Lottery and a former Mayor of New Britain)
- Rick Rubelmann (Vice President of Operations for the Connecticut Lottery)
- Michael Logan (Director of Information Services for the Connecticut Lottery)
In 1999 as a response to the tragedy, Connecticut became the first state in the nation to adopt a “red flag” law granting law enforcement the legal authority to temporarily remove firearms from someone when there is probable cause to believe they are at a significant risk of harm to themselves or to others. Since its passage, the law has oftentimes been used after a relative, friend, or close acquaintance raised concerns to authorities. A study in 2016 led by researchers at Duke University found that the law appears to have prevented several suicides. Today, only five states in the country have enacted “red flag” laws on their statute books.
Governor Malloy said, “The events of March 6, 1998 left the State of Connecticut in shock, and we mourn still for the workers who lost their lives on that terrible day by a horrible act of gun violence. We pray for and remember the victims, their fellow employees, and their families.
“Twenty years later, as we look back on the actions that occurred on this tragic day, we must recognize that our nation has not done enough to proactively work to stop the threat of situations such as the one we witnessed here. ‘Red flag’ policies to keep firearms out of the hands of those who have shown the warning signs of being a threat to themselves or to others are critical in our efforts to prevent tragedy, and it is a shame that only a handful of states have this tool on their statute books. I strongly urge all states and the federal government to adopt this critical law enforcement policy – it can save lives.”
Lt. Governor Wyman said, “I remember this day clearly and the shockwaves it sent through the state and the nation. Among the dead were people I’d known and worked with – good people who were dedicated employees and devoted to their communities. I’m proud to live in a state that responded by passing a ‘red flag’ law, and that is still working today to strengthen public safety and improve healthcare.”