A candlelight vigil will take place tonight downtown to honor the victims of the mass shooting in Orlando.
The vigil will take place at 6 p.m. at the top of State Street, where it intersects with the Capitol Square. The event is being organized by Callen Harty, a local author and LGBT activist who is the former artistic director of Broom Street Theater.
“A candleiight vigil to honor our queer brothers and sisters and allies lost in the mass shooting at the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando,” said the event announcement on Facebook. “This will not be a place for hate, xenophobia, or anything like that. It will be a place to share our sorrow and our love. It will be on the State Street side of the Capitol and will end when those there feel that we are done.”
The shooting early Sunday at Pulse nightclub is the worst mass shooting in U.S. history, with a death toll of at least 50 people, with another 53 hospitalized, many in critical condition. The shooter, who took hostages in the crowded nightclub, later died in a gunfight with police.
The suspect in the attack was identified as Omar Mateen of Port St. Lucie, Florida. Authorities were looking into whether the attack was an act of domestic or international terrorism, and if the shooter acted alone, according to Danny Banks, an agent with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.
In a statement Sunday on her Facebook page, U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisconsin) wrote: “This was not only a horrific attack on the LGBT community, it was an attack on the freedoms we all hold dear. The question now for America is are we going to come together and stand united against hate, gun violence and terrorism? I understand it may not be easy, but I know we are better than this and it is past time to act together.”
In an address Sunday afternoon, President Barack Obama said, “In the face of hate and violence, we will love one another. We will not give into fear.”