Only days after the June 8 terror attack that killed four people at a Tel Aviv market, Orlando, Florida was never prepared for what was about to happen to them. “Deadliest mass shooting in the United States and the nation’s worst terror attack since 9/11, authorities said.
A terrorist act executed solely by an American born and raised, Omar Mateen, a 29 year old gunman of Fort Pierce, Florida. A murderer who pledged ISIS allegiance before executing 49 victims and injuring 50 more in a popular gay nightclub Pulse, located in the heart of Central Florida, my home for almost 5 years. A club where the gay community can get together and feel safe, gather with friends, drink and dance the night away or so they thought.
The gunman who killed at least 50 people in a shooting rampage at an Orlando nightclub has been identified as 29-year-old Omar Mateen. Here is what we know about him so far. (Deirdra O’Regan/The Washington Post)
“It appears he was organized and well-prepared,” Orlando Police Chief John Mina said early Sunday. The gunman visited the club on more than one occasion, scouting the area and planning his attack. Authorities also say that it is possible that other gay clubs were targeted but the gunman chose The Pulse as his final destination to change the lives of so many families in one night.
Described as mentally ill by his ex-wife, Sitora Yusifiy, who states that her ex-husband was physically abusive to her and repeatedly beat her during the time they were married which she states was very brief. “He was not a stable person,” she told The Washington Post. “He beat me. He would just come home and start beating me up because the laundry wasn’t finished or something like that.”
We are all confused and shocked by this event and all everyone is looking for is an explanation as to why this occurred? Is it an issue with gun control? A hate crime targeting the gay community? Another terrorist act aimed at our country? “We know enough to say this was an act of terror and act of hate,” President Obama said in an address to the nation from the White House.
Should the FBI be held responsible? Are they to blame for releasing a man whom they interviewed on two separate occasions, once in 2013 for suggesting an affinity for Islamist groups and another time in 2014 for vague connections to another Florida man who traveled to Syria to become a suicide bomber. Both times release by the FBI because he was not found to be a threat.
It seems the gunman’s past history revealed a clean record with no offenses or anything suspicious that would alert authorities that Omar was up to no good. He purchased the assault-style semiautomatic rifle only days before the shooting and again this raised no suspicion and the gunman was free to go with his new purchase that he’ll be using to kill and destroy so many lives and affect so many others.
Would things be any different or would more lives have been spared if we were allowed to carry a weapon to protect ourselves in situations such as these? How many lives would have been spared if the gunman was shot immediately following his first round of gunshots? This is something we will never know.
At an interview with Omar’s father, he claimed his son did not commit the act due to religion but rather due to witnessing two gay men kissing and being affectionate in front of his wife and their mutual child at a music event in Miami.
As the story unfolds, Omar second wife, Noor Mateen, claims that she knew about the attack prior to and tried to talk him out of it. She is now being investigated and charges will be brought up against her. Lives may have been saved had she called the authorities to advise them of the attack at the gay nightclub.
How could a person like Omar Mateen, a person with so much hate, who shared with his friend that he wanted to get more involved in law enforcement and expressed his desire to become a police officer could commit such a violent act. Hard to understand and come up with a reasonable explanation. We do understand one thing and that is with the deadliest mass shooting in U.S history, unfortunately this tragic event has brought so many closer together. Medical professionals worked frantically to save each and every life. Orlando Police and Fire Department, Ambulate Services, Emergency responders and all those who came to the help of these victims. We’d like to thank you for your dedication and your continuous effort to do your job to the best of your ability regardless of the circumstances involved.
Thousands gather at the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts to pay their respects to the victims in the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando, Fla., June 13, 2016.
Regardless of sexual preference, gender and religious beliefs, so many have gathered together to remember the victims lost on the tragic day of June 12. They are lost but will never be forgotten.
We’d like to send our heartfelt condolences to the families of the 49 victims. May they rest in peace.
Stanley Almodovar III, 23 years old
Amanda Alvear, 25 years old
Oscar A Aracena-Montero, 26 years old
Rodolfo Ayala-Ayala, 33 years old
Antonio Davon Brown, 29 years old
Darryl Roman Burt II, 29 years old
Angel L. Candelario-Padro, 28 years old
Juan Chevez-Martinez, 25 years old
Luis Daniel Conde, 39 years old
Cory James Connell, 21 years old
Tevin Eugene Crosby, 25 years old
Deonka Deidra Drayton, 32 years old
Simon Adrian Carrillo Fernandez, 31 years old
Leroy Valentin Fernandez, 25 years old
Mercedez Marisol Flores, 26 years old
Peter O. Gonzalez-Cruz, 22 years old
Juan Ramon Guerrero, 22 years old
Paul Terrell Henry, 41 years old
Frank Hernandez, 27 years old
Miguel Angel Honorato, 30 years old
Javier Jorge-Reyes, 40 years old
Jason Benjamin Josaphat, 19 years old
Eddie Jamoldroy Justice, 30 years old
Anthony Luis Laureanodisla, 25 years old
Christopher Andrew Leinonen, 32 years old
Alejandro Barrios Martinez, 21 years old
Brenda Lee Marquez McCool, 49 years old
Gilberto Ramon Silva Menendez, 25 years old
Kimberly Morris, 37 years old
Akyra Monet Murray, 18 years old
Luis Omar Ocasio-Capo, 20 years old
Geraldo A. Ortiz-Jimenez, 25 years old
Eric Ivan Ortiz-Rivera, 36 years old
Joel Rayon Paniagua, 32 years old
Jean Carlos Mendez Perez, 35 years old
Enrique L. Rios, Jr., 25 years old
Jean C. Nives Rodriguez, 27 years old
Xavier Emmanuel Serrano Rosado, 35 years old
Christopher Joseph Sanfeliz, 24 years old
Yilmary Rodriguez Solivan, 24 years old
Edward Sotomayor Jr., 34 years old
Shane Evan Tomlinson, 33 years old
Martin Benitez Torres, 33 years old
Jonathan Antonio Camuy Vega, 24 years old
Juan P. Rivera Velazquez, 37 years old
Luis S. Vielma, 22 years old
Franky Jimmy Dejesus Velazquez, 50 years old
Luis Daniel Wilson-Leon, 37 years old
Jerald Arthur Wright, 31 years old
By: Ida L