Responses To The Orlando Club Shooting Show Solidarity With The LGBT Community
A fun night out turned deadly on Sunday when a shooter at an Orlando nightclub killed approximately 20 people and injured 42 more. The mass shooting took place at Pulse, a gay nightclub. Soon, people flocked to social media to show their support, and the responses to the Orlando club shooting show solidarity with the LGBT community, as well as with all those affected by the tragic event.
(Update: The FBI has updated the death toll to 49 victims. The shooter was also killed.)
Around 2 a.m. the gunman entered the club and opened fire with both an assault-style rifle and a handgun. Police Chief John Mina said that he may have been armed with an explosive device as well. The police shot and killed the gunman while attempting to rescue the clubgoers he had been holding hostage. According to CBS News, the gunman has been identified by law enforcement sources as Omar Mateen, a United States citizen from Port Saint Lucie, Florida. Mateen has no criminal record, those sources say, and the police are investigating whether or not he had ties to Islamic terrorism. The shooting has been classified as a "terror incident," according to the police.
The attack left people all over the country heartbroken, and public figures responded swiftly with their sympathy and shock:
Woke up to hear the devastating news from FL. As we wait for more information, my thoughts are with those affected by this horrific act. -H— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) June 12, 2016
Our deepest condolences to the family and friends affected by this morning's tragedy in Orlando. pic.twitter.com/BGnyscrzI6— Orlando Magic (@OrlandoMagic) June 12, 2016
Today we extend our deepest sympathies to the victims in Orlando and all of their friends & family. #PrayForOrlando— Boston Red Sox (@RedSox) June 12, 2016
Heartbroken. Scared. Angry. So much senseless death in Orlando & across this country. Sending love & prayers to all suffering. Horrific— Gabrielle Union (@itsgabrielleu) June 12, 2016
Others specifically mentioned the LGBT community in Orlando as they spoke of the senseless violence:
to the wonderful LGBT community of Orlando i send my thoughts and love you welcomed me last week #ParlimentGayDays it was a beautiful night— Sandra Bernhard (@SandraBernhard) June 12, 2016
It’s hard to think of any act as hateful than a terrorist shooting up a gay club with weapons of war during Pride Month.— Jamil Smith (@JamilSmith) June 12, 2016
I am sickened to awake to the horrific news out of #Orlando. Smiling, happy, dancing people gunned down for no reason. Hug your friends. ❤️— Ross Mathews (@helloross) June 12, 2016
Pulse, the club in which the shooting took place, has referred to itself as "not just another gay club." USA Today reports that one of the club's co-owners started it to promote awareness of Orlando's LGBT community after her brother died of AIDS. On the club's website, owner Barbara Poma wrote, of her brother John:
Police have yet to confirm that Mateen specifically targeted Pulse because it was a gay nightclub, but given that the act was well-planned, he must have known.
This is the second shocking act of violence to hit Orlando over the past couple of days. On Friday, The Voice contestant Christina Grimmie was shot and killed while signing autographs after a concert. She was only 22 years old. It's enough to make you feel like the world is totally broken, and to wonder if anything can be done to fix it.
As a resident of Orlando, I can do without all the prayers. How about passing an assault weapons ban, & let's treat LGBTQs as human beings?— Carrie Morgan (@C_T_Morgan) June 12, 2016
This doesn't feel like my tragedy because I used to live in Orlando-- It feels like my tragedy because I live in a country that allows it.— Akilah Hughes (@AkilahObviously) June 12, 2016