Update: In a press conference Monday morning, Orlando police confirmed that 49 people had been killed and 53 injured early Sunday morning at Orlando'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 by posting a tribute online. You can also attend a vigil near you to honor the victims.
Earlier: Early Sunday morning, a gunman opened fire at popular Orlando nightclub Pulse, killing 50 people and injuring many more. The attack is the worst mass shooting in U.S. history, and devastating by all accounts. As word of the horrific news took hold, there was an outpouring of grief and support from all corners as people rushed to help victims and offer condolences to families during this particularly sad time. The Muslim community's support for the Orlando victims in particular has been moving as people voice their solidarity with the LGBTQ community, condemn bigotry, and offer much-needed help to the people of Orlando.
The violence that took place at Pulse is being investigated as domestic terrorism, according to law enforcement. Muhammad Musri, president of the Islamic Society of Central Florida, spoke during a press conference, where he condemned the horrific events. "No one could have expected this, no one could have prepared for it. It could have happened anywhere," he said. "It's like lightening."
Following the attack, the Council on American-Islamic Relations called for people to donate blood to those in need, and to repudiate violence. "We condemn this monstrous attack and offer our heartfelt condolences to the families and loved ones of all those killed or injured," CAIR's Orlando regional coordinator Rasha Mubarak said in a statement published by The New York Times.
Meanwhile, the Muslim community has turned to Twitter to condemn the attack, and offer up prayers and support to Orlando victims and their families.
While there is no undoing of the tragic events, it is uplifting to see people come together to take a stance against violence of any kind.