Vigils held to remember victims of Orlando shooting - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Vigils held to remember victims of Orlando shooting

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Members of the LGBT and Muslim communities came together on Sunday night in Hartford to show their support for Orlando. (WFSB) Members of the LGBT and Muslim communities came together on Sunday night in Hartford to show their support for Orlando. (WFSB)
HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) -

Communities in the state gathered on Sunday to remember the victims of the Orlando nightclub shooting.

A gunman who professed allegiance to the Islamic State carried out the worst shooting in U.S. history killing 50 and wounding 53 more in a shooting at a gay night club in Orlando, FL.

Members of the LGBT and Muslim communities came together on Sunday night in Hartford to show their support for Orlando following a mass shooting at a nightclub.

The group gathered at the State Capitol and said they condemn this latest terror attack that left 50 people dead and at least 53 injured.

"Almost exactly a year ago, crowds gathered joyfully in Hartford and around the country to celebrate the Supreme Court’s decision on marriage equality," Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin said in a statement on Sunday. "In the face of this terrorist attack targeting the LGBT community, we gathered together again tonight — in sadness, but with the same spirit of unity and love. Let us condemn the hatred that motivated this attack. Let us condemn the demagoguery that exploits this tragedy to divide us from our fellow Americans. And let us celebrate the aspiration for equality and freedom that makes our nation the target of those who subscribe to a twisted ideology."

Bronin also called for an "effort to enact common-sense gun laws to protect innocent Americans from tragedies."

"There will always be viciousness in the world. There will always be violence," Bronin said. "But the pain that can be inflicted by one sick individual, infected with so many vicious strains of hatred and armed with a legally-bought military-style assault weapon, is shocking and unacceptable. This latest tragedy should be a clear call to action.”

https://twitter.com/MayorBronin/status/742177288737988611

While those who protested in Hartford condemn the attack, they are asking for people to not condemn an entire group of people based on the actions of a few. Officials have not yet said if the shooter has direct ties to ISIS.

Local terrorism expert John Griffin said "terrorism is a very asymmetrical type or warfare. That’s one reason, and the other reason is it's either to move one man than a cell. A cell becomes very suspicious in this country, becoming more susceptible, but one man one shooter or two shooters, they can move with impunity very hard to follow them and track them.”

Speaking from the White House briefing room, President Barack Obama said the shooter was "filled with hatred" but said the FBI had not reached any definitive conclusion about a motive.

"It is still early, but we know enough to say it was an act of terror and an act of hate," Obama said. "This is a sobering reminder that attacks on any American regardless of race, ethnicity, religion or sexual orientation is an attack on all of us. No act of hate or terror will change who we are or the values that make us Americans."

The Ahmadiyya Muslim community held a vigil at the Baitul Aman House of Peace Mosque in Meriden on Sunday night.

Dozens gathered At the National Shooting Sports Foundation headquarters in Newtown on Sunday night. The protesters were trying to show solidarity with the victims of the Orlando deadly shooting.  

"I know that if she was alive today, and she heard the news about Orlando that she'd be right here," said Hannah D'Avino, who's sister Rachel was killed in the Newtown shooting. 

Many protesters held homemade signs or lit candles in support of the victims.They said they were standing against hatred and gun violence.  

"I don't want to take guns. I don't want to melt guns," D'Avino said. "I I think people have a right to carry, but I think it's time we realize that there is a problem with gun violence and we need to do something about it."

On Monday, the First Church of Christ in Hartford will host a vigil at 12:30 p.m. at the Meeting House at the corner of Main and Gold streets. The Meeting House will be open from noon to 2 p.m. for prayer and meditation.

Speaking from the White House briefing room, President Barack Obama said the shooter was "filled with hatred" but said the FBI had not reached any definitive conclusion about a motive.

"It is still early, but we know enough to say it was an act of terror and an act of hate," Obama said. "This is a sobering reminder that attacks on any American regardless of race, ethnicity, religion or sexual orientation is an attack on all of us. No act of hate or terror will change who we are or the values that make us Americans."

The American Red Cross said that while it doesn't typically serve hospitals in the Orlando area, they are providing blood products to support Florida hospitals in response to the shooting.

"The thoughts and deepest sympathies of the entire American Red Cross family are with the people of Orlando and those affected by Sunday morning’s tragic shooting. Local Red Cross volunteers are supporting emergency responders by providing snacks and water, and the Red Cross is coordinating closely with local officials to determine how we can best support the affected community over the coming days and weeks," a press release said.

The American Red Cross said anyone looking to donate blood can click here or call 1-800-RED CROSS.

Follow updates on the Orlando nightclub shooting here.

To see pictures on your mobile device, click here. 

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