Sunday, June 12, 2016
Our Prayers are With the Victims
He was born in Port St. Lucie, Florida in 1986 – about 130 miles south of Orlando. His parents were middle class immigrants from Afghanistan. His name is Omar Mateen; he worked as a security guard. His parents confirmed that he was deeply conservative and harbored ill-will towards the gay community. While Mateen’s father told interviewers that Mateen was not religiously motivated, local Florida police have indicated that Mateen had strong “leanings” toward the messages of Muslim extremists, even having made a pledge of allegiance to ISIS via 911 call before the massacre.
At 2 a.m. on this Sunday morning, as well-known Orlando gay bar Pulse was closing for the evening, a very well-armed Omar Mateen – with an AR-15 assault rifle loaded with at least one oversized magazine, probably several from the sheer number of bullets fired, and a secondary handgun – opened fire on the departing patrons. 103 people were hit, 50 died. A three hour ordeal. A protracted gun battle with a SWAT team ensued; one officer was slightly wounded. Of those taken to the hospital, many were and are still in critical condition.
It was the worst mass-shooting act of domestic terrorism in American history. While the U.S. has 5% of the world's population, it had 31% of all public mass shootings. There is no logical explanation. There is only sorrow. Too many guns. Too many dead and maimed. No excuses, just too much anger and hate.
I’m Peter Dekom, and I am profoundly sad.