The world was shaken by the mass shooting at Orlando nightclub Pulse, one of the mainstays for nightlife and cultural cohesion in Central Florida’s LGBT community.
The body count, as of now, is 50. Undoubtedly, the number will go up at the next press availability.
Reaction came from all over Florida and the world after the biggest targeted act of mass violence against LGBT people in American history.
Jacksonville leaders and politicians were no exception to the rule Sunday morning.
Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry spoke to the massacre on a personal level on Twitter: “My prayers are w/ and for Orlando today. Praying for victims, families & city.”
Curry addressed collaboration with the sheriff in a prepared statement Sunday afternoon.
“While our heartfelt thoughts and prayers are with the city of Orlando, it is an incredibly sad day for our nation. As local, state and federal agencies work diligently to serve and support the victims, families and communities affected by this morning’s tragedy, the sheriff and I have been in contact to determine how our teams can support their efforts. To promote our own safety, we continue to ask Jacksonville citizens to be aware of their surroundings and report any suspicious activity or behavior to JSOs non-emergency number at 904-630-0500 or the iWATCH JAX hotline at 888-908-6368.”
State Attorney Angela Corey likewise was resolute.
“Acts of terrorism against innocent citizens will not be tolerated and we stand united with the citizens of Orlando. I communicated with State Attorney Ashton earlier today to express my condolences and pledge my full support. As I’ve said many times before, our courageous first responders — law enforcement and emergency response teams — protect us on a local level daily and do what our military does on a global level every day. Our hearts go out to the victims of this senseless violent crime and we are grateful to those who responded selflessly and heroically in the face of danger.”
Jacksonville City Councilman Tommy Hazouri, a former mayor and an advocate of the Human Rights Ordinance expansion, posted something similar to Curry’s comments on Facebook: “Thoughts and prayers to everyone affected by this horrific tragedy in Orlando.”
State Sen. Aaron Bean had similar comments on Twitter: “Praying for the victims and their families of the tragedy in Orlando.”
As did State Rep. Lake Ray, who tweeted Sunday morning that “As we continue to learn about the details of this tragic event, my whole family is in prayer for the victims and their families. We stand with the people of Orlando through this difficult time.”
Ray is running for the GOP nomination in Congressional District 4. As is Hans Tanzler, who tweeted “Our thoughts and prayers are with those injured and killed earlier this morning in Orlando.”
Former Jacksonville Sheriff John Rutherford, meanwhile, lauded first responders for taking action as they did to mitigate the situation from possibly getting worse.
“I’m very proud of our local, state and federal law enforcement, in what appears to be a very decisive, lifesaving, tactical response to this “active shooter” incident — saving the lives of 30 hostages,” Rutherford posted to Facebook Sunday morning.
“At this time,” Rutherford added, “it appears to be an act of terror by a ‘lone wolf’ and drives home the fact that we must all be vigilant and if you ‘see something, say something,’ by going to iWATCHJAX.com.”
Donnie Horner, running for the GOP nomination in House District 11, tweeted that “my heart breaks for the victims and their families in Orlando and my prayers are with them.”
The Jacksonville Coalition for Equality had this to say on Facebook: “As we learn more about the heinous act of terror committed against our community at Pulse Orlando, we stand in solidarity with the victims of this tragedy and all impacted. Our thoughts and prayers are with our counterparts in Orlando and across the country.”
Jacksonville residents who want to find solidarity in this troubled time are urged to convene at a candlelight vigil at 7 p.m. tonight at Memorial Park.