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.”
Brazil is once again rattled by gun violence after gunmen entered a bar and started shooting. Officials confirm that nearly a dozen people have died.
According to news reports, 11 people have been killed in what officials are calling a “massacre.”
Our of the 11 dead, there were six were women and five men. The armed group, whose members were wearing masks to cover their faces, arrived in cars and a motorbike before storming the bar and opening fire.
The shooting took place in the northern city of Belem.
According to Brazil’s G1 News, those killed were from a low-income and violent part of the city called Guamá, which is considered one of the seven most violent spots in the metropolitan Belem area. Federal troops were just sent in this past March to boost security.
Gun violence continues to be a major issue across Brazil and one that seems to be growing more severe.
In 2017, Brazil had a record 64,000 homicides, 70 percent of which were due to firearms. Much of that violence is either gang or police related.
In January, gangs attacked across the northeastern city of Fortaleza, bringing that city to a standstill as businesses, buses, and taxis all shutdown.
Rio de Janeiro, the country’s second biggest city, experiences daily shootouts between police and criminals, battles that often result in the deaths of innocent bystanders. According to one group, Fogo Cruzado, that monitors shootings in the Rio metropolitan area, there were 2,300 shootings in Rio during the first 100 days of this year.
And this bar attack comes just two months after a massive school shooting, a rarity in Brazil.
The shooting took place in Sao Paulo and resulted in the deaths of eight kids. The gunmen were former students. Even though gun violence is common across the country, even the city’s police chief said he had never seen anything like this.
The school shooting could have been even worse had a brave woman not saved the lives of 50+ students.
According to BBC, a school cafeteria worker helped save the lives of more than 50 kids by protecting them in the school’s kitchen.
Despite the growing gun violence, Brazil’s far-right president has recently made it easier to get a gun.
Earlier this year, Brazilian President Jaír Bolsonaro, who ran on a so-called “law-and-order” platform, signed a decree making it easier for people to get guns.
The decree loosens restrictions on gun imports and allows people to carry more ammunition, increasing the limit from 50 cartridges to up to 5,000.
He’s trying to deliver on a campaign promise to overturn gun control regulations in a country suffering from a record wave of gun deaths.
Kendrick Castillo sacrificed his life for his classmates.
Castillo’s parents were on CNN this week and spoke about how they raised their son to be the kind of person to help people. They are devastated that they will never see their son again but are not surprised that he would sacrifice his life to save his classmates.
Five months into the year and our country have endured 18,255 incidences of gun violence, 115 mass shootings, and 4,804 deaths — and each one of them matters. The latest shooting to make national headlines happened yesterday at STEM School Highlands Ranch just outside of Denver. Eight people were injured in the shooting and one died. His name is Kendrick Castillo and people are saying that he died a hero.
Kendrick Castillo, an 18-year-old student, was shot and killed yesterday at his school. Eight others were injured.
The school shooting occurred at the STEM School Highlands Ranch in Denver, Colorado — just a few miles from Columbine High School. According to media reports, there were two shooters and they are suspected to be students as well.
“Two individuals walked into the STEM school, got deep inside the school and engaged students in two separate locations,” Douglas County Sheriff Tony Spurlock said, according to NBC News.
Castillo died trying to stop the shooter and save the lives of his classmates.
His father, John Castillo, confirmed to NBC News that his son died in the shooting. Castillo and another student charged at one the shooters which blocked the shooter from aiming at other students.
“He was the best kid in the world,” John said to The Denver Post this morning. “It doesn’t surprise me. He cared enough about people that he would do something like that, even though it’s against my better judgment.”
John added, “I wish he had gone and hid, but that’s not his character. His character is about protecting people, helping people.”
“The next thing I know is [the shooter] is pulling a gun and he’s telling nobody to move, and that’s when Kendrick lunged at him,” classmate Nui Giasolli said on the “Today” show. “And he shot Kendrick, giving all of us enough time to get underneath our desks, to get ourselves safe, and to run across the room to escape.”
People on social media are remembering how incredibly caring Castillo was and also bringing attention to ending gun violence.
Castillo was supposed to graduate later this week. He was an intern at Bacara USA, a manufacturing company. According to Rachel Short, the CEO of the company, Castillo was so impressive in his internship that he was offered a part-time job.
“To find he went down as a hero, I’m not surprised,” Short told USA Today. “That’s exactly who Kendrick was.”
There has been an outpouring of support and grief over the news of Castillo’s tragic death.
“I don’t want to give the shooters the satisfaction of being afraid of someplace that was my second home for four years,” Giasolli told NBC News. “I want to show them that even though they did this terrible, terrible thing, that we can all come together and we can all make it a happy place again because that’s what really matters.”
Castillo was part of the robotics team during the four years of high school.
People across the country are grieving the senseless violence asking why this has to be the norm.
There is a public health crisis in the U.S. tied to the proliferation of guns. According to the American Medical Association (AMA), the only option is “a comprehensive public health response and solution.”
“With approximately 30,000 men, women and children dying each year at the barrel of a gun in elementary schools, movie theaters, workplaces, houses of worship and on live television, the United States faces a public health crisis of gun violence,” AMA President Steven J. Stack, M.D, said in a statement about the gun crisis. “Even as America faces a crisis unrivaled in any other developed country, the Congress prohibits the CDC from conducting the very research that would help us understand the problems associated with gun violence and determine how to reduce the high rate of firearm-related deaths and injuries. An epidemiological analysis of gun violence is vital so physicians and other health providers, law enforcement, and society at large may be able to prevent injury, death and other harms to society resulting from firearms.”
Mainly, people are sick and tired of children having to sacrifice their own lives to save their peers.
The two suspects (a male and female) have been apprehended by authorities. The male is 18-year-old Devon Erickson and the female is an unnamed juvenile.