ORLANDO SHOOTING : A fatal night out

Kathmandu/Pahichan – The carnage at a night club in Orlando by a lone gunman exposes the animosity fostered in America against the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community and the dangerous dimensions of its gun culture. By VIJAY PRASHAD

AT 2 A.M. on June 12, a 29-year-old gunman named Omar Mateen entered Pulse, a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida. The long night of entertainment and dancing had come to an end. People in the club held their final drinks. This is Pride Month, the month of celebration of gay and lesbian resilience against homophobia. The mood in the club was joyful. The gunman carried an assault rifle (AR-15) and a handgun. He unleashed round upon round in close quarters. Before the night ended, Omar Mateen killed 50 people and injured dozens more. It was the deadliest mass shootings in the United States to date. The carnage went on for three hours. The police eventually broke into the building and killed Omar Mateen.

Eddie Jamoldroy Justice (30) sent his mother a series of text messages before he was killed. “Mommy I love you,” he wrote, then “In club they shooting.” Justice, an accountant, liked to make people laugh, said his mother Mina Justice. She tried to call him but could not get through. “I’m going to die”, he wrote as he hid in the bathroom. Rosalie Ramos, mother of Stanley Almodovar (23), kept a snack for her son to eat when he came home from the club. This young pharmacy technician sent out a Snapchat video of himself from the nightclub. It was his last message to the world. Kimberly Morris (37) had moved from Hawaii to take care of her mother and grandmother. Morris, known as KJ, worked at the club as a bouncer. KJ was killed. Her friend Roxy Heart said: “He stole her smile. He stole her life. He stole her laughter.”

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