During the early morning hours, there was a mass shooting at in LGBT nightclub in Orlando, Florida. There has been no apparent connection mentioned between this active shooting incident and the previous night’s shooting of singer Christina Grimmie, also in Orlando.
This most recent active shooting situation took place at Pulse, an LGBT nightclub, and has resulted in a “mass casualty situation,” according to police. They added, according to a report from the Los Angeles Times, that the attacker has been shot and killed and that a controlled explosion has been successfully carried out at the venue in order to prevent more devastation. The controlled explosion was law enforcement’s means of carrying out a safer detonation that would prevent a more tragic outcome.
The trouble began at the Pulse Club, an LGBT nightclub in the city, in the wee hours of Sunday morning. Shots were fired inside the club and rapidly escalated to an extremely dangerous situation. Pulse Club staff responded quickly by posting on Facebook: “Everyone get out of Pulse and keep running,” followed quickly by reports on social media that a continuing attack was being carried out.
Orlando police confirmed the fact that the shooting had resulted in mass casualties. Law enforcement officers warned people to stay away from the area. Initial, tentative reports suggested that roughly 20 people might have been injured in the attack. Video footage was shared on social media showing a heavy police presence around the club.
Bomb squad and hazardous materials teams from Orlando Fire Department were on the scene, according to the Associated Press. Law enforcement officers carried out a controlled explosion inside the club, and after information was given, they urged the media to avoid reporting inaccuracies. They were, however, able to confirm that the shooter was dead inside the club.
Woke up to this devastating news! Just proves that Although it's getting better homophobia still very much exists! https://t.co/uFJEIyTJ9w— Luke Shayler (@BoyShayler) June 12, 2016
One witness claiming to have been inside the club said people were “screaming that people are dead,” and that “They are just pulling people out in stretchers loading them up,” he said.
“Please God let everyone make it — tonight was supposed to be a fun night!! One more minute and we would have been shot or worse.”
There has been no specific motive revealed in the case, although social media users have begun to speculate. Was the shooter a member of the LGBT community who had possibly become disgruntled? Or could it be a person who misconstrued verses in the Bible referring to the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, ancient Bible cities who were destroyed by fire and explosions in response to excessive LGBT action within the cities. Another possibility that’s been mentioned is that the situation exploded as a result of jealousy or a lover scorned. Even a disgruntled employee might have had a motive to carry out the malicious attack.
The motive is far from clear at this point. Fox News anchors speculated on their morning broadcast on the possibilities of a motive, such as terrorism or revenge of some type. They did mention it will require more investigation before a specific motive can be identified.
In a press conference held by law enforcement officials shortly after 7:00 a.m. eastern time, Chief John Mina gave more specifics on the events. He did say that at least 40 people have been transported to local hospitals for treatment and stated that multiple fatalities had occurred inside the building, but he declined to give even an approximate number. The police have confirmed that the shooter was dead, but early comments on social media indicated that club guests felt certain that there was more than one shooter. Social media users have attempted to estimate the number of fatalities inside the building, but those initial estimations have at this time remained unverified. What has been confirmed is that the shooter was shot and killed by law enforcement officers.
When a mass, tragic event occurs, speculation runs rampant about the details until they have been systematically confirmed by authorities. In this particular case, the speculation on social media seems to be mostly focused on the number of fatalities and the motives behind the incident. Witnesses have speculated on every possibility, from terrorism to a jealous lover to a disgruntled employee or a Sodom-and-Gomorrah-type vengeance shooting. The explosives in the device attached to the shooter certainly lent itself to speculation of terrorism motives. In such a case, it is best for witnesses to get themselves to a safe area at the instruction of venue owners and law enforcement, and to wait for the facts to come in after the investigation.
What motive comes to your mind over this shooting? Disgruntled employee, Sodom and Gomorrah vigilante, terrorism, jealous lover, or revenge? Please sound off in the comments section below.
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