CT leaders react to deadly Orlando nightclub shooting - WFSB 3 Connecticut

CT leaders react to deadly Orlando nightclub shooting

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The shooting has left 50 people dead and 53 injured (AP Images) The shooting has left 50 people dead and 53 injured (AP Images)
HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) -

Connecticut lawmakers reacted to shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Fl. with many of them calling for stricter gun control laws. 

The shooting has left at least 50 people dead and 53 injured, and is being called the worst mass shooting in U.S. history. Florida Gov. Rick Scott declared a state of emergency following a mass shooting at an Orlando nightclub.

Officials confirmed the shooter's identity as Omar Mateen of Port St. Lucie, FL. He is a U.S. citizen, however, police officials said his family members are not U.S. citizens.

Connecticut officials were vocal about the shooting on Sunday. U.S. Senators Chris Murphy and Richard Blumenthal will be joined by Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty on Monday morning. They will dicuss the deadliest shooting in the history of the United States.‎

In a statement, Gov. Dannel Malloy said "What horrifying, devastating news. This kind of violence - seemingly targeted at specific individuals and rooted in hate - has no place in our society. This is a truly sad day, and it's sad on so many levels. Our condolences go out to all of the families and loved ones affected."

Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro said "The attack earlier today in Orlando is tragic and heartbreaking. As we mourn the loss of so many lives in what is the largest mass shooting and hate crime in U.S. history, our hearts are heavy. My thoughts and prayers are with the victims, their friends and families, and the community, as they suffer from this senseless act of violence. As our nation marks LGBT Pride Month, we are reminded that no one should ever be a target because of who they are or whom they love. We stand with the people of Orlando and the LGBT community across the nation and the world. Love will triumph over hate and fear. From Newtown and Aurora, to San Bernardino and now Orlando, gun violence is tearing apart American communities. Congress must take immediate, commonsense action to help save lives, which includes banning high-capacity magazines and allowing federal funding for gun violence research."

Murphy said "I'm aching for the victims, their loved ones, and the people of Orlando, and I pray that all those injured have a quick and full recovery. I know the pain and sadness that has brought too many communities - Newtown, Oregon, Aurora, San Bernardino, and now Orlando - to their knees, and I can only hope that America's leaders will do something to prevent another community from being added to the list. This phenomenon of near constant mass shootings happens only in America - nowhere else. Congress has become complicit in these murders by its total, unconscionable deafening silence. This doesn't have to happen, but this epidemic will continue without end if Congress continues to sit on its hands and do nothing - again.”

Congressman John Larson issued a statement that said “My heart goes out to the victims and their families in Orlando. In Connecticut especially, we know far too well the heartbreak and shock that accompanies a tragedy like this.  Minimally, Congress should take a vote on universal background checks. We owe that to the public. Whether you agree or disagree that all gun purchases should require a background check, it is our responsibility to vote. It is past time for Congress to take its head out of the sand.”

Blumenthal said in a statement "As we learn more in shock and horror about the deadliest mass shooting in our history, my heart breaks for the families of loved ones lost or injured – and for our nation, continuing to suffer from this unspeakable epidemic of gun violence. The Senate’s inaction on commonsense gun violence prevention makes it complicit in this public health crisis. Prayers and platitudes are insufficient. The American public is beseeching us to act on commonsense, sensible gun violence prevention measures, and we must heed that call.”

Esty issued a statement that said "Today we awoke to the agonizing news that at least 50 lives have been taken from us, and 53 people wounded, in yet another act of brutal gun violence in our country. We are heartsick for the victims and for their loved ones, and we pray for a quick recovery for all those who have been injured. I extend my heartfelt gratitude to the law enforcement officers and first responders in Orlando, whose courageous actions ended this act of terrorism and may have saved dozens of lives. The individual apparently responsible for this tragedy is dead, but the work now begins to piece together how this attack occurred and to ensure that anyone who had a role in carrying it out is brought swiftly to justice. We do not yet know what motivated this horrific act of terrorism. But the fact that it targeted a mainstay of Florida’s LGBT community as communities throughout our nation gather to celebrate LGBT Pride Month only adds to our immense grief. Let us always remember that hatred or violence targeting any community – whether based on religion, race, sexual orientation, gender identity, or anything else – is a betrayal of our values as Americans. Such actions are as wrong today as they were yesterday, and we must not forget that. We must stand united as Americans, as human beings, in support of all those affected by today’s horrific attack.  And we must stand united in opposition to hatred and terrorism whenever and wherever they occur.”

U.S. Congressman Jim Himes said he was "shocked by the devastation in Orlando. My heart goes out to the victims and their friends and families. And thank you first responders."

To read the full series of tweets by Himes, click here.

Per President Obama, Gov. Dannel Malloy is directing flags to be lowered to honor the victims of the mass shooting. Flags will be at half-staff until sunset on June 16.

Murphy, Esty and Blumenthal will be available at the Legislative Office Building in Hartford around 10:15 a.m. 

Follow updates on the shooting here.

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