CNN anchor Kate Bolduan struggled to maintain her composure on Monday during an interview with Stephanie Pizzoferrato—whose 4-year-old daughter was killed by a stray bullet in 2011—after the grieving mom held up a box containing the remains of her daughter.
Over the weekend, Pizzoferrato brought Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang to tears during an Everytown for Gun Safety event in Iowa. Telling him about her daughter’s death and noting her son witnessed the incident, Pizzoferrato asked the entrepreneur what he would do as president to prevent shooting deaths of children.
Yang asked if he could give Pizzoferrato a hug before attempting to answer her question, breaking down on-stage as he said he was imagining it was one of his own children getting shot “and the other saw it.”
Pizzoferrato told Bolduan during Monday’s broadcast of CNN’s At This Hour that she appreciated not only Yang’s response to her but all of the Democratic candidates who participated in the forum, noting other survivors had also shared their stories.
“They stood there and they listened to every single one of our questions and we appreciate that opportunity to share what it is we cope with every single day,” she said before holding up a box containing her daughter’s ashes.
“This is my reality here,” Pizzoferrato stated as Bolduan put a hand to her chest, fighting back tears. “This is my daughter, Dayla. This is what I sleep with beside my bed every single night.”
“I don’t get to tuck in my daughter,” she added. “I don’t get to send her to school today on the first day of school. It’s important that people understand and know that this is real, it’s not a fantasy.”
Choking up, Bolduan replied: “That is impactful, to say the least. I think that no matter the policy talk, we cannot let it overshadow your story is what you’re saying.”
Bolduan regained her composure to ask her guest what she would want people to know about her family’s story, prompting Pizzoferrato to say that gun violence is preventable through legislation.
“We can do better,” she concluded. “We must do better and we can’t just keep talking about it. We need to start doing something about it.”