A US conservative talk radio show has been taken off the air after one of its hosts said he wished for “a nice school shooting” to interrupt coverage of Donald Trump’s impeachment.
Chuck Bonniwell, now formerly of The Chuck & Julie Show on Denver’s KNUS 710 AM, had just opened a segment on “the never-ending impeachment of Donald Trump” on Tuesday when he made the comment.
“You know, you wish for a nice school shooting to interrupt,” he began, before his wife and co-host Julie Hayden jumped in to condemn his remarks.
“No, no. Don’t even, don’t ever say that. No, don’t even say that,” she interrupted. “Don’t call us. Chuck didn’t say that.”
— Kyle Clark (@KyleClark) December 18, 2019
Bonniwell apparently then tried to backtrack, adding that he meant a shooting where “no one would be hurt.”
The station confirmed the show’s termination in a statement on Wednesday that acknowledged Colorado’s dark history of gun violence – including May’s deadly shooting at STEM School Highlands Ranch, the 2013 Arapahoe High School shooting, the 2012 Aurora cinema shooting and the 1999 Columbine school shooting in Littleton.
“Given the history of school violence that has plagued our community, 710 KNUS confirms that an inappropriate comment was made on the Chuck & Julie show by co-host Chuck Bonniwell,” the station said. “A programming decision was made to end the program immediately.”
Bonniwell reportedly issued an apology on his show’s Twitter account on Wednesday, but it was later deleted.
“I made an inappropriate comment meant as a joke. I’m sorry it was not received that way,” the tweet read, according to The Denver Post.
His comment ignited a swift wave of anger from listeners, which included shooting victims’ family members.
Sandy Phillips, whose daughter Jessica was killed in the 2012 cinema shooting, endorsed Bonniwell’s firing in a tweet that dismissed his comments as “total ignorance.”
“Shootings hurt us all … just ask witnesses and first responders. You don’t have to be shot to be wounded,” she tweeted on Wednesday.
John Castillo, whose 18-year-old son Kendrick died in the recent STEM school shooting, called Bonniwell’s remarks “unbelievable” and condemned the promotion of domestic terror.