SR Mourns the Loss of 50 People in Terrorist Attack of Orlando LGBT Nightclub
The Sensible Reason team extends its deepest condolences to all those affected by the terrorist attack that occurred early this morning at an LGBT nightclub in Orlando that has left approximately 50 dead and more than 50 injured. The attack is being called the worst terrorist attack since 9/11 and the deadliest mass shooting in US history.
At approximately 2am, just 30 minutes before the club was expected to close, a gunman named Omar Mateen entered Pulse Orlando, Orlando’s Premier Gay Nightclub and Ultra Lounge/Bar (Pulse Facebook page). A shootout with police and the gunman occurred at approximately 5am and the gunman was killed in the shootout. According to attack survivor Chris Hansen in an interview with CNN, people in the nightclub began running to escape the carnage through the back exit and the front doors, and even crawled through air ducts and attic spaces. The exact number of dead is still unknown and many family members and friends are still unaware of the location and status of victims in the club. The attack has occurred right in the midst of LGBTQ Pride month, held annually in June, and law enforcement is still trying to uncover if this attack was intended as a hate crime. Law enforcement has stated that it is believed the shooter might be affiliated with radical Islam and even ISIS, but it is unclear to what extent and if he worked alone or as part of a cell. The gunman, Omar Mateen, was from Fort Pierce, Florida and, according to Congressman Peter King in an interview with CNN, he was possibly trained in the use of weapons in Afghanistan.
Sensible Reason stands in solidarity with all those affected by the incident. This is the worst attack on the LGBT community in US history, outstripping the arson fire in a New Orleans gay bar in 1973 that killed 32 people, which until now was the most devastating attack on the LGBT community. At a time when so many are celebrating LGBTQ Pride month, this attack comes as a devastating shock to all of us. Our thoughts are with the victims, family, and friends of those affected by the terrible attacks, and with the whole LGBTQ community that has been deeply affected by this attack. For those wondering how they can help, please donate blood to support the victims if you are able.
UPDATE (2:50pm): ISIS claims responsibility for the terrorist attacks.