Dallas Stars Head Coach Peter DeBoer recently addressed the mass shooting over the weekend at a Texas mall, saying “somebody has to have some answers for it.”
In a pregame interview Sunday evening, DeBoer — whose team is currently in the second round of the NHL playoffs — reacted to the shooting, telling reporters that the incident hit "really close to home," and that the team was "heartbroken" over it.
“I don’t pretend to know the answer on how to fix it, but it’s too great a country [with] too many intelligent people not to do something about it," he said.
\u201cStars Head Coach Pete DeBoer speaks on yesterday\u2019s events in Allen.\u201d— Dallas Stars (@Dallas Stars) 1683486421
The Stars had planned an outdoor watch party for the Sunday game outside of their arena, the American Airlines Center, which was subsequently cancelled due to the shooting. The team lost 7-2 to the Seattle Kraken that night.
DeBoer noted before the game that it was hard to focus on hockey amidst the "tragic" headlines, especially due to the team's ties to the location. According to DeBoer, his family and the Stars players frequently shop at the mall where the shooting occurred, and the Stars' ECHL team, the Allen Americans, play out of the town.
"When you hear victims as young as five years old ... you get tired of hearing it," DeBoer continued. "When you hear Sandy Hook and Parkland and Nashville, unless it’s in your backyard, you compartmentalize it and put it aside. Then when it happens in your backyard, you realize the horror of it. ... It’s tough to think about games when you wake up to headlines like that. We shop there."
The tragic event left at least eight dead and seven injured, with suspected shooter Mauricio Garcia using an assault rifle. Leaders have since called for stricter gun control laws, particularly around AR-15s and alike rifles.
"I don’t have the words for it," DeBoer continued. "There has to be some answers. Somebody has to have some answers for it.”