San Diego LGBT community reacts to Orlando shooting; more local reactions
SAN DIEGO (KUSI) — The deadly shooting at Pulse — an Orlando, Florida gay nightclub — may have been isolated to a single building but the tragedy is being felt across the United States. Local reaction in San Diego has been loud, with communities coming together and San Diego Police Chief Shelly Zimmerman releasing a statement on the shooting that left 50 people dead.
Dr. Delores A. Jakobs, chief executive officer of The San Diego LGBT Community Center, released a statement on the Orlando shooting.
“We are simply devastated at the news of this horrific loss of life in Orlando. Unfortunately, our LGBT community is far too familiar with violence. This shooting – during LGBT Pride month – is now the deadliest mass shooting in United States history," Jakobs said.
“Our hearts, thoughts and prayers go out to the victims and their friends and families. This weekend, and over the coming days, our community around the country will hold vigils and other commemorations of support, solidarity and strength,” Jakobs statement concluded.
The San Diego LGBT Community Center will hold a candlelit vigil Monday at 6:30 that begins at The Center located at 3909 Centre St. A candlelit vigil will also be held Sunday night at the Hillcrest Pride Flag (University Ave. and Normal St.) from 7-9 p.m. Oceanside will also be holding a vigil Sunday at the North County LGBTQ Center, beginning at 7 p.m. sharp.
Local Muslim communities are also uniting, condemning the attack from Omar Mateen. Officials indicate that Mateen may have pledged his allegiance to ISIS in a 911 call placed around the time of the shooting early Sunday morning. The FBI had also investigated Mateen in regards to Islamic radicalism ties dating back to 2013.
Council on American-Islamic Relations San Diego executive director Hanif Mohebi released a statement in a press release, calling the attack in Orlando a "terrible act of violence."
“We condemn this despicable and ruthless attack and offer our heartfelt condolences to the families and loved ones of all those killed or injured. The Muslim community joins our fellow Americans in rejecting anyone or any group that would claim to justify or excuse such terrible act of violence.”
Related Link: FBI investigated Orlando shooter twice in last 5 years
CAIR will be holding a press conference Sunday at 6:30 p.m. at their San Diego office located at 7710 Balboa Ave. to express their condolences to those affected by the mass shooting and ask the Muslim community to take part in a blood drive donation for the 53 people injured in the attack.
Chief Zimmerman also released her condolences to those affected, detailing that San Diego is not under threat but local authorities are being proactive to maintain that safety.
"Our hearts and prayers are with all those affected by this horrific mass shooting incident in Orlando," Chief Zimmerman said. "Although there are no known threats here in San Diego, we are working closely with all our Federal, State, and local law enforcement partners to ensure we remain safe as a region. As a precautionary measure and until further information is known, we have increased our security posture in the City," Zimmerman said.
That presence will help ensure the public’s safety in mass gathering locations. Recently re-elected Mayor Kevin Faulconer also weighed in on the tragedy as well:
San Diego stands united with the people of Orlando. Our sincere condolences to the families affected by this horrible act of violence.
— Kevin Faulconer (@Kevin_Faulconer) June 12, 2016