With heavy hearts, America grieves the largest mass shooting it it’s history. Early Sunday morning, just after last call, a gunman burst into Orlando’s Pulse nightclub and shot at clubgoers with an automatic weapon and a handgun that were purchased legally. The night of celebration turned into a living nightmare.
At first, clubgoers thought the shot noises were part of the electronic music. After the DJ turned down the music, it became clear they were at the center of a mass shooting.
Omar Matteen, 29, opened fire driving people into the streets, bathrooms and corners of the gay bar; one woman even hid under a pile of dead bodies. The shooting highlights the increasingly horrifying epidemic of mass shootings in this country.
Pulse promotes itself as “more than just a gay bar.” It was founded by Barbara Poma as a tribute to her brother who died of AIDS. The institution considers itself a safe haven for LGBT and provides services beyond partying.
Saturday night was called “Latin Night,” but there is no information on whether this was a factor in the shooter’s motivation, yet. On a recent trip to Miami, Matteen grew furious when he saw two men kissing in a park.
President Obama gave a somber address to the country Sunday, “We’re still looking at all the motivations of the killer. But it’s a reminder that regardless of race, religion, fait or sexual orientation, we’re all Americans, and we need to be looking after each other and protecting each other at all times in the face of this kind of terrible act. This massacre is therefore a further reminder of how easy it is for someone to get their hands on a weapon that lets them shoot people in a school or in a house of worship or a movie theater or in a nightclub. And we have to decide if that’s the kind of country we want to be. And to actively do nothing is a decision as well.”
Learn more about this tragic event here.