Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis

Florida Gov. DeSantis Orders Flags At Half-Staff In Honor Of Pulse Remembrance Day

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (File)

Eight years ago, on June 12, 2016, a shooter claiming alliance with the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) committed a horrific act of terrorism against the LGBTQ and Hispanic communities at Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, Florida.

At the time, it was the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history.

Forty-nine people were killed, and fifty-three were wounded.

“As a mark of respect for the victims, their families, and the many affected by this tragedy, I hereby direct the flags of the United States and the State of Florida to be flown at half-staff at all local and state buildings, installations, and grounds throughout the State of Florida from sunrise to sunset on Wednesday, June 12, 2024.,” said DeSantis Tuesday.

Pulse Nightclub Shooting

Omar Mateen, a 29-year-old security guard armed with an assault rifle and a handgun, stormed into the club during its popular Latin Night. The joyous atmosphere quickly transformed into chaos as the sound of gunshots filled the air.

Panic and terror gripped the clubgoers as they desperately sought refuge. Some hid in bathrooms, closets, and under tables, while others made frantic calls to loved ones, their voices trembling with fear. The sound of sirens grew closer as law enforcement rushed to the scene.

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A three-hour standoff ensued, with Mateen barricading himself inside the club with hostages. He exchanged gunfire with police officers, who bravely tried to rescue those trapped inside. During this time, Mateen made a chilling 911 call, pledging allegiance to ISIS terrorist group and expressing hatred towards the LGBT+ community.

At 5 am, a SWAT team stormed the club, breaching a wall with an armored vehicle. A fierce gun battle erupted, and Mateen was fatally shot by the police. The siege was over, but the devastation was immense.

Forty-nine innocent lives were lost that night, and dozens more were injured. The Pulse nightclub shooting became the deadliest mass shooting by a single gunman in U.S. history at the time, leaving a deep scar on the LGBTQ+ community and the nation as a whole.

In the aftermath of the tragedy, stories of heroism emerged. Clubgoers risked their lives to shield others from the gunfire, while first responders tirelessly worked to save lives. The outpouring of support from around the world was overwhelming as people came together to mourn the victims.

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