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Pulse Shooting

Updated: Jan 20

June 12th, 2016, was a devastating day for the LGBTQ+ community after a tragic shooting at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, FL. Omar Mateen killed 49 people and injured 53 more at the Orlando club. The Pulse nightclub attack remains the second deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history.


Timeline


Pulse was one of the most popular gay clubs in the city, and that Saturday night also happened to be Latin night.


2:02 a.m.


As police escorted patrons and victims out of Pulse, those who were able to make it out we're safe and began talking to police about exactly what happened inside. However, this sense of relief and safety was not the reality for many club-goers. (Image Source: Phelan M. Ebenhack/AP)
As police escorted patrons and victims out of Pulse, those who were able to make it out we're safe and began talking to police about exactly what happened inside. However, this sense of relief and safety was not the reality for many club-goers. (Image Source: Phelan M. Ebenhack/AP)

Early in the morning, the police received reports of shots fired at the club. An off-duty officer attempted to restrain Mateen, but he was unsuccessful and the shooter was able to make his way into the club. Minutes later, police arrived at the scene and exchanged gunfire with the shooter.


2:09 a.m.


An alarming post was made on Pulse's Facebook page, stating for “everyone [to] get out of Pulse and keep running.” Unfortunately, this chilling post was not the reality for many of the patrons in the club who became caught in the middle of gunshots. Hours later people were still being held hostage in the club.


5:00 a.m.


SWAT teams began breaking down the back wall of the club to help victims escape. They did this through a controlled explosion in order to safely but quickly provide a route to safety for those inside. Eventually, many patrons, including the shooter himself, emerged from the building.

Pulse night-club was located on Orange Ave. in Orlando FL. The image above depicts the layout of the club.  Manteen entered the club and made his way to the dance floor. He continued around the back of the club and made his way to the restrooms. When police arrived, the wall that was broken down was the one leading to the restroom. (Image Source: Orlando City Planning Division blueprints, Pulse Orlando website, Chris O’Meara/AP)
Pulse night-club was located on Orange Ave. in Orlando FL. The image above depicts the layout of the club. Manteen entered the club and made his way to the dance floor. He continued around the back of the club and made his way to the restrooms. When police arrived, the wall that was broken down was the one leading to the restroom. (Image Source: Orlando City Planning Division blueprints, Pulse Orlando website, Chris O’Meara/AP)

5:15 a.m.


Upon Manteen’s exit, a shootout occurred between him and the police, ultimately resulting in his death.


Legacy


This direct attack on LGBTQ+ and Latinx people continues to cause grief to this day and serves as a constant reminder of the hate and discrimination still faced by the LGBTQ+ community.


Five years after the shooting, community members continue to come together at Pulse to celebrate and mourn those who lost their lives on June 12, 2016. Vigils are held and it is a time to advocate for those who were victims of homophobia and gun violence on that tragic night. (Image Source: Walter, FLICKR)
Five years after the shooting, community members continue to come together at Pulse to celebrate and mourn those who lost their lives on June 12, 2016. Vigils are held and it is a time to advocate for those who were victims of homophobia and gun violence on that tragic night. (Image Source: Walter, FLICKR)

LGBTQ+ mental health is at a heightened risk following Florida's decision to veto funding and cut approximately “$900,000 in funding for state programs geared toward serving the LGBTQ+ population, including one that provides mental health programs to survivors of the Pulse nightclub shooting..."


This decision, on the 2nd day of Pride and just before the 5th anniversary of the Pulse shooting, is a tell-tale sign of the work that needs to continue to be done to support LGBTQ+ communities.


 

References


Kelley, A. (2021, June 3). Florida Gov DeSantis vetoes mental health funding for Pulse shooting survivors. TheHill. https://thehill.com/changing-america/respect/diversity-inclusion/556703-florida-gov-desantis-vetoes-mental-health

Zambelich, A., & Hurt, A. (2016, June 26). 3 Hours In Orlando: Piecing Together An Attack And Its Aftermath. NPR. https://www.npr.org/2016/06/16/482322488/orlando-shooting-what-happened-update



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