A shocking comment led to the swift firing of a radio host this week.
On Wednesday, Chuck Bonniwell — who co-hosted a conservative talk show with his wife, Julie Hayden, on Colorado’s 710 KNUS station — made an insensitive attempt at a joke, telling listeners that he wished for a “nice school shooting” to take over the news cycle and distract from coverage of President Donald Trump‘s impeachment.
According to an audio clip of the segment, Bonniwell laughed while starting a discussion about the “never-ending impeachment of Donald Trump.”
“You know, you wish for a nice school shooting to interrupt the monotony,” he said, chuckling as Hayden cut him off.
“No, no, don’t even — don’t even say that,” Hayden said. “No, don’t even say that. Don’t call us. Chuck didn’t say that.”
Bonniwell can be heard trying to walk back his words, claiming he didn’t want anyone to be hurt.
In response to backlash, the radio station — which is based in Aurora, Colorado, a community that’s been rocked by mass shootings — issued a statement saying it was cancelling the Chuck & Julie show.
“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. A programming decision was made to end the program immediately,” the station wrote on Twitter.
Bonniwell and Hayden did not immediately return PEOPLE’s requests for comment. A spokesperson for KNUS had no further comment.
OFFICIAL STATEMENT:— 710 KNUS Denver (@710KNUS) December 19, 2019
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. A programming decision was made to end the program immediately.
In a since-deleted tweet from the Chuck & Julie account, Bonniwell issued a statement acknowledging that the remark was “inappropriate,” according to the Denver Post.
“Regarding the @710KNUS situation. Chuck Bonniwell has this comment. ‘I made an inappropriate comment meant as a joke. I’m sorry it was not received that way,'” the tweet reportedly read.
In 1999, the Columbine school shooting devastated nearby Littleton, where 13 people were killed and another 23 were injured. In 2012, a shooter open fired in an Aurora movie theater, killing 12 people and injuring 70 others.
On Wednesday night, the House of Representatives voted to impeach President Trump on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress in connection with his Ukraine scandal. Trump allegedly pressured Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky into investigating Biden while withholding $400 million in military aid and a meeting between the world leaders at the White House. However, Trump continues to claim he did nothing wrong during the July 25 phone call with Zelensky that sparked the impeachment investigation.
Trump will face a trial in the Senate to determine whether he’ll be removed from office. No U.S. president has ever been removed from office because of an impeachment; both President Bill Clinton and President Andrew Johnson were acquitted after their impeachments.
Trump’s trial is anticipated to begin in early January, where the Republican-controlled Senate is expected to acquit the president. Many conservative lawmakers have said they are reluctant to proceed with a case against Trump, contending his impeachment amounts to a revenge scheme by Democrats following the 2016 election.