Orlando shooting | KERA News

Orlando shooting

Monday marks the anniversary of the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history, when a gunman opened fire at Pulse nightclub in Orlando last year. The shooter killed 49 people and wounded more than 50. Pulse has become an unofficial site of remembrance.

Gerry Realin says he wishes he had never become a police officer.

Realin, 37, was part of the hazmat team that responded to the Pulse Nightclub shooting in Orlando on June 12, 2016. He spent four hours taking care of the dead inside the club. Now, triggers like a Sharpie marker or a white sheet yank him out of the moment and back to the nightclub, where they used Sharpies to list the victims that night and white sheets to cover them.

Christopher Connelly/KERA

The shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando last week put homophobic violence in the spotlight. On a regular basis, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people face hate crimes. These incidents are not always deadly, yet they still leave deep physical and emotional scars. They occur against a larger backdrop, a whole story that the data on hate crimes in Texas don’t tell.

Updated at 7:40 p.m. ET with Senate votes

To virtually no one's surprise, the Senate failed to advance any of the four gun control proposals — two offered by Democrats, and two by Republicans — that came in response to last week's mass shooting in Orlando, Fla.

Here are the results:

MB Boehm / KERA News

Cathedral of Hope in Dallas, which bills itself as the nation's largest LGBT church, was evacuated Sunday morning after suspicious packages were found.

Jon Viscott / Facebook

Neil Cazares-Thomas leads the Cathedral of Hope in Dallas, which calls itself the largest LGBT congregation in the country. Just a few weeks into the job, the Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage. Last month, there was the debate over transgender bathrooms, and last weekend – the deadly attack in Orlando.

 

Days after the deadly mass shooting in Orlando, Fla., the American Medical Association says it is adopting a policy calling gun violence in the U.S. "a public health crisis," and it says it will actively lobby Congress to overturn 20-year-old legislation blocking research on gun violence by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Krystina Martinez/KERA News

The fallout from last weekend’s Orlando shootings has special resonance for Araf Hossain. He co-founded Alpha Lambda Mu, the country’s first all-Muslim fraternity, at UT-Dallas in 2012. Hossain’s now trying to launch a new project called Muslims Against ISIS.

Gus Contreras / KERA News

The Orlando shooting hit two groups especially hard. The shooter was Muslim. And most of the victims were gay. Two leaders of the Muslim and gay communities in North Texas talk about how the two groups can work together.

Orlando Crisis Shines A Light On Blood Donations

Jun 14, 2016
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In the hours following this weekend’s mass shooting in Orlando, people across the country headed to their local blood banks to make a donation. Today on Think, guest host Lauren Silverman explored how our blood supply is managed, whether we are equipped to mobilize mass blood drives and why some people can’t donate with Dr. Ravi Sarode, director of transfusion medicine and hemostasis at UT Southwestern Medical Center, and Dr. William Crews, medical director of laboratory services for Carter BloodCare.

Why The Words We Use After a Tragedy Matter

Jun 14, 2016

From Texas Standard:

After yesterday's broadcast, which concluded with a roundup of reaction to the Orlando shooting from Texans on social media, Texas Standard received a comment from a listener who noted what he considered to be a conspicuous absence of something in the conversation – the mention of words like "ISIS" and "terrorism."

This comment plays into something bigger: how we choose what words to use when speaking about an unspeakable tragedy. What's the significance of the rhetoric surrounding events like the Orlando massacre?


Turtle Creek Chorale / Facebook

The Turtle Creek Chorale performed a memorial concert called "Songs for Healing" at Cathedral of Hope in Dallas to remember the victims of Sunday's mass shooting at Pulse, a gay nightclub in Orlando.

A victim and his doctors described a "war zone" following the deadliest mass public shooting in modern United States history.

Dr. Chadwick Smith, a surgeon at the Orlando Regional Medical Center in Orlando, Fla.,, said that a little after 2 a.m. ET on Sunday, patients began arriving into the emergency room. It was quickly filled to capacity with people suffering with wounds to the extremities, the chest, the pelvis and the abdomen. Some had small wounds others had large-caliber wounds.

WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

The Orlando nightclub shooting has prompted businesses across the country and in North Texas to boost security. In Dallas, police are working with the FBI to watch over entertainment districts, like gay-friendly Oak Lawn. But some national security experts argue ramping up security in everyday spots may not be the most effective solution.

Omar Mateen, who authorities say killed 49 people at the gay nightclub Pulse in Orlando, Fla., was reportedly no stranger to the club.

Multiple media outlets are reporting that some Pulse regulars recognized Mateen, saying that he had spent time at the nightclub before the shooting early Sunday. Witnesses have said the same to authorities, NPR's Dina Temple-Raston reports, citing U.S. officials with knowledge of the investigation.

Meanwhile, at least two men have told the media they interacted with Mateen on gay dating apps. Investigators have not commented on the claims.

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Reuters/Steve Nesius

A hidebound stigma? A "double tragedy?" US blood donation rules are coming under scrutiny after Sunday's mass shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando.

After many who most wanted to show support for the massacre’s victims weren’t allowed to donate blood, critics are calling for a change to federal regulations that bar sexually active gay men from becoming blood donors.  

Gay and Muslim: Can Orlando tragedy lead to acceptance, tolerance?

Jun 13, 2016
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Yiannis Kourtoglou

As a gay Muslim living in Toronto, Shawn Ahmed says the shooting at a gay club in Orlando hits him hard.

"The victims are part of my community, because I'm gay, and the perpetrator is also part of my community, because he's Muslim," he says, adding that words can't describe how he feels.

Map: All the mass shootings in the US from 1982 to 2016

How America Fell In Love With Guns

Jun 13, 2016
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As the county reels from Sunday morning’s events in Orlando, America’s complicated relationship with guns is once again a public conversation. Earlier this month on Think, Krys Boyd explored the topic with Pamela Haag, author of, “The Gunning of America: Business and the Making of American Gun Culture.”

Editor's note, June 16: An earlier version of this story said Omar Mateen carried an AR-15, based on comments from Orlando Police Chief John Mina, who said Sunday that the gun was an "AR-15-assault-type rifle." Law enforcement officials subsequently told NPR that the gun was a Sig Sauer MCX, a rifle similar to an AR-15 but also different in fundamental ways. This story reflects the change.

When we tried to put the killing of 49 people at an Orlando nightclub on Sunday morning in context, we said and wrote that it was the "deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history."

It was a deadlier attack than the shooting at Virginia Tech, which left 33 people dead, including the shooter.

Responding to the Orlando shootings in a New Hampshire speech Monday, presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump used the appearance to expand on his previous call to temporarily ban all Muslims from immigrating to the United States.

"The only reason the killer was in America in the first place is because we allowed his family to come here," Trump said. "That is a fact, and a fact we need to talk about."

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Sunday’s deadly attack on a nightclub in Orlando has kids across the country asking questions. And with school out for summer, that leaves a lot of pressure on parents to come up with answers. Here's a range of resources to talk about tragedy death and loss with children.

Citing "strong indications of radicalization by this killer" in Sunday's mass shooting at the Pulse Orlando nightclub in Orlando, Fla., FBI Director James Comey said there are conflicting signs about the gunman's motivations — and no sign that he was acting under orders.

In the wake of the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history, Hillary Clinton told NPR that in order to counter "self-radicalization," she wanted to create a team "exclusively dedicated to detecting and preventing lone wolf attacks" and possibly even expand terrorist watch lists.

She also called for creating more "integrated intelligence use" among local, state and national law enforcement; "strengthening communication" with other countries; and working with Silicon Valley to "prevent online radicalization."

Resource Center/Facebook

The top local stories this morning from KERA News: Hundreds of people gathered at the Resource Center in the Oak Lawn neighborhood of Dallas last night for a vigil and silent march to honor the victims of the Orlando club shooting. 

Houston Chronicle / Twitter

Five stories that have North Texas talking: Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick deleted “man reaps what he sows” posts on Facebook and Twitter after Orlando shooting; a panel will decide today whether to scrap the STAAR exam; if you’re considering adopting a cat, now’s the time; and more.

At blood banks in Orlando, Fla., lines stretched around the block as people waited, in some cases for hours, to donate blood in support of those wounded in a deadly attack at a local gay nightclub.

But, as some people noted with frustration and anger, FDA restrictions currently bar sexually active gay and bisexual men from donating blood, leaving many members of the LGBT community unable to contribute.

A gunman opened fire on a gay nightclub in Orlando, Fla., early Sunday morning, killing at least 50 people in the deadliest mass shooting in recent U.S. history before being shot dead by police.

At first, they say, it seemed like just part of the music.

It was a Saturday night and the dance tracks had been pounding at the Pulse Orlando nightclub, which calls itself the city's hottest gay bar. A sharp, staccato sound, arriving shortly after 2 a.m. ET, didn't seem out of place.

"I thought it was a Ying Yang Twins song or something," club-goer Christopher Hansen told reporters. "It went with the beat almost."

Lauren Silverman / KERA News

As a shaken Orlando tries to come to grips with the worst mass shooting in U.S. history, here are five ways KERA has explored the gun issue on radio and television in recent months.

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