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: After Sunday's mass shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida killed 50 people and left 50 hospitalized, "Pray For Orlando" began to trend on social media, giving people around the world to show their support for the victims of the deadly shooting at the LGBT hotspot, Pulse. As of 10:30 a.m. on Sunday morning, Orlando's mayor, Buddy Dyer, confirmed the death toll, which makes this event the worst mass shooting in American History. Prior to the shooting at Pulse, the Virginia Tech shooting in 2007, which left 32 people dead and 17 injured, had been the most deadly shooting.
In addition to the trending hashtag, supportive Facebook profile pictures, Orlando memes and tributes, those closer to the incident responded quickly by lining up to donate blood after OneBlood announced there was an urgent need for O negative, O positive, and AB plasma. Inspiring photos of the long lines at blood banks on Twitter conveyed just how many people rushed to help. So much so that The Orlando Sentinel is reporting that OneBlood is overwhelmed with people wanting to donate blood, and is asking donors to make an appointment and return in a few days.
Equality Florida, an LGBT civil rights organization, also started a GoFundMe page to support for those affected by the attacks, which you can contribute to. If you're you're looking for another way to display your love for the Orlando victims, here are few ways you can wear your support:
1. Pray For Orlando T-Shirt
Pray for Orlando T-shirt, $20, Etsy.com
2. Pray For Orlando iPhone Case
Pray For Orlando iPhone 6s case, $30.20, Redbubble.com
3. Pray For Orlando T-Shirt
Pray for Orlando T-shirt, $14.99, Amazon
4. Pray For Orlando Stickers
Pray For Orlando stickers, $4.90, Redbubble
Images: Etsy; Redbubble; Amazon; Redbubble