The Pulse gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, has been described as the “hottest” gay nightclub in the area, but in the early hours of June 12, it became a warzone.
— Christal Hayes (@Journo_Christal) June 12, 2016
As the shooting at Pulse began, Orlando Regional Medical Center was put on lockdown, with only essential personnel being allowed access into the building. Both the Arnold Palmer and Winnie Palmer Hospitals were also put on lockdown while police were trying to assess the situation and determine exactly where the gunman was, according to CNN. Ricardo Negron was inside Pulse when the shooting began, and he said that it sounded like the gunman was packing far more than a simple pistol, ABC.net.au reported.
“At around 2:00am someone started shooting. People just dropped on the floor,” he said.
In the early moments of the shooting, someone from Pulse hit social media and told people to get out of the club and just keep running.
The Pulse shooting comes over a day after the shooting death of a former contestant from The Voice, Christina Grimmie, which occurred following an Orlando concert.
According to BBC News, it rapidly became apparent that there were mass casualties in the wake of the Pulse shooting, as one man inside the club saw several bodies on the ground, with various injuries being treated.
“There were just bodies everywhere,” he said. “In the parking lot, they were tagging them — red, yellow — so they knew who to help first and who not help first. Pants down, shirts cut off, they had to find the bullets. Just blood everywhere.”
Over 100 people were reported to be inside Pulse, enjoying a Latin-themed evening, when the gunshots began. It was reported earlier that the gunman may also have had a bomb, but this has yet to be confirmed.
There was a noise heard near where the Pulse shooting was happening, and many believed this may have been part of the Pulse gunman’s plan, which has yet to be revealed. However, the police report that the noise that was heard was actually a controlled explosion, a move often used by tactical teams in order to gain the upper hand on the gunman.
According to WFTV9, some 40 people were taken to hospital for injuries, though the condition of those injured was not immediately known. In a video posted to social media as the shooting at Pulse was happening, a voice can be heard as the shooting was occurring, and the scene was, as one might expect, horrific.
“Oh my God, they’re shooting back and forth,” a voice can be heard saying about the scene between the gunman and police.
Shooting at Pulse Nightclub on S Orange. Multiple injuries. Stay away from area. pic.twitter.com/5Di2mc6XUY
— Orlando Police (@OrlandoPolice) June 12, 2016
Sadly, there seems to be a trend towards mass shootings in the United States, and Vice reported back at the end of March that the 2016 numbers of those killed or injured in shootings in the U.S. had already far outstripped their European counterparts. At that point, the tally was at 72 dead and 212 injured, thanks in some respects to shootings in Wetumpka, Alabama; Plantation, Florida; Chicago, Illinois; and Selma, California, respectively.
For children of the current generation, they will likely not really recall a time when there were not mass shootings reported in the United States; the 1990s was one of the worst decades for mass shootings, and is likely best known for the Columbine High School massacre in 1999. The 1980s were not far behind in terms of seriousness, according to Global Research; the San Ysidro McDonald’s massacre of 1984 was one of the worst, with 22 killed. With shootings such as the one at Pulse nightclub, 2016 is well on its way to becoming a significant year in terms of sheer violence.
The Pulse nightclub shooting story continues to develop.
[Photo by AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack]