Update: In a press conference Monday morning, Orlando police confirmed that 49 people had been killed and 53 injured early Sunday morning atOrlando's Pulse gay nightclub in the deadliest mass shooting in recent U.S. history. After opening fire on the crowd, an individual named Omar Mateen had taken hostages and was ultimately killed in a stand-off with police; Mateen had called 911 and pledged allegiance to the Islamic State shortly before the massacre. Orlando mayor Buddy Dyer declared a state of emergency, and the massacre is being investigated as an act of terrorism.
The victims' names were released by the city of Orlando on its website as their next of kin were informed. Here are some ways to help the Orlando shooting victims and their loved ones; you can also donate to the victims' fund, as well as express your solidarity with the LGBTQ community byposting a tribute online. You can also attend a vigil near you to honor the victims.
Earlier: In horrifying news, it appears that the deadliest mass shooting in United States history occurred early on Sunday morning. It was initially thought that 20 people were reportedly killed and about double that number were injured in a nightclub shooting in Orlando, Florida, but the mayor of Orlando, Buddy Dyer, has since updated the death toll to 50 casualties and more than 50 people injured. Per NBC News, police also explained that the shooter not only shot the unsuspecting victims at Pulse, a popular gay nightclub, but also took many people as hostages. According to the New York Times, police are citing the shooting as a "terror incident," and responses to the Orlando shooting tragedy have ranged from heartbroken to utterly shocked.
While we all try to process this unspeakable attack, celebrities, understandably, are doing the same. Whether it's to make sense of the situation, to call attention to it, to highlight gun control issues, or to denounce heinousness of the crime, many public figures took to Twitter and Instagram in order to make their voices heard. Some even participated in the #PrayForOrlando hashtag, becoming a part of a community of people who are trying to channel any and all good energy towards those in that community who are suffering so greatly from this deadly attack.
Here are some of the many tweets from celebrities about the horrific Pulse shooting.