Here's What You Can Do to Help and Show Solidarity Against Hate
50 people are dead, 53 others are injuredÂ in the countryâ€™s deadliest mass shooting, and the worst terror attack since 9/11. Here's what you can do to help and show solidarity against hate.
The shooting began around 2 AM EDT Sunday morning at theÂ gay nightclub Pulse, which was celebrating Latin Night. Approximately 320 guests were in the attendance. Pulse, which bills itself as â€œnot just another gay club,â€ took to its social media to offer the following after the shooting: Â
Omar Mateen, 29, a resident of Port St. Lucie, Florida, has been identified as the suspected shooter. He has also been identified as having active security officer and firearm licenses, and was killed after a SWAT team entered the establishment after 5 A.M. Police subsequently recovered both a handgun and an assault rifle.
The suspectâ€™s father, Mir Seddique, told NBC News, "this has nothing to do with religion." Seddique continued that his son "got angry when he saw two men kissing in Miami a couple of months ago" and believes that may be related to the shooting.
Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer this morningÂ issued the following statement:
â€œWe are dealing with something we never imagined. Since the last update, we have gotten better access to the building, cleared the building. It is with great sadness I share that we have 50 casualties, in addition to the shooter. Because of the scale I have called Governor Scott to request a state of emergency and we are issuing a state of emergency in the City. This allows us to bring additions resources to support our efforts.â€
WHAT YOU CAN DO:
Police have asked that anyone with information concerning the shooting come forward. The City of Orlandoâ€™s crisis hotline has been set up to help identify potential family members who may have been in attendance, 407-246-4357.
Additionally, counselors are being provided and may be contacted at 407-228-1446.
An urgent need for O-, O+ and AB Plasma donors has been issued. OneBlood asks that donors call 1-888-936-6283 or click here. The OrangeÂ County Firefighters also tweeted a request for blood donations:
.@my1blood is now asking for all blood types. Please donate.â€” O.C. Fire Fighters (@Local2057IAFF) June 12, 2016
(The FDA banned gay male and bisexual blood donation in 1983, and in 2015 revised its rules to allow gay and bisexual men who have been celibate for a full year to donate.)
NOTE: Bans on blood donations have not been dropped, contrary to many false reports.Â
Equality Florida has set upÂ a GoFundMe pageÂ to help support the victims and their families.
You can make a financial donation to theÂ donate to theÂ Orlando Regional Medical CenterÂ on its website.
The next media briefing is scheduled for 1:30 PM EDT, which may change.
President Barack Obama is also scheduled to address the nation at 1:30 PM EDT.
You can attend a vigil to show your support:
Vigil for the victims and survivors of the Pulse Nightclub shootings tonight, 8pm, Barbara Hall Park: https://t.co/7EYDYGvvoJâ€” The 519 (@The519) June 12, 2016
JUST IN: A vigil will take place at 8 p.m. at Harvey Milk Plaza in San Francisco to honor and remember victims of the shooting in Orlando.â€” ABC7 News (@abc7newsBayArea) June 12, 2016
Tonight - Vigil at the Riverwalk in Tampa at 7:00 pm. Bring candles and foil. https://t.co/CDEE9KYKGCâ€” Pat Kemp 2016 (@PatKemp2016) June 12, 2016
UPDATE: Marriage Equality USA has compiled a list of vigils across the country.Â
UPDATE II 3:25 PM EDT -Â
Mayor Buddy Dyer has advised per his Facebook page that, "we are setting up a website,Â Cityoforlando.net/victims, that will be updated with the names of the deceased after the next of kin is notified."
This is a breaking news and developing story. Details may change. This story will be updated, and NCRM will likely publish follow-up stories on this news. Stay tuned and refresh for updates.