The Pulse Nightclub Shooting

The Pulse Nightclub Shootings

Orlando, Florida: June 12, 2016

Pulse Nightclub InteriorIt was "Latin Flavor" night at Pulse - "The Hottest Gay Bar in Orlando" and the evening had gone well. The club was packed with over 300 patrons as the clock passed 2am and the bar began to serve its "last call" drinks. The music was thumping, people were dancing and everyone was having so much fun they didn't even notice the sounds of gunfire as a man approached the club with a pair of semi-automatic guns and the determination to kill.

Three off-duty police officers engaged the shooter, but they were unable to prevent him from entering the club and shooting patrons as he moved through the darkness.

A Scene of Panic and Confusion

The Upstairs Lounge PatronsA cavernous event space full of terrified people, Pulse erupted into chaos. Some followed staff members to back exits. Some hid behind the bars or in the bathrooms. Many called for help on their cell phones as they cowered in the darkness and confusion.

The shooter worked his way into the bathroom - shooting patrons as they hid in stalls and under the bodies of victims. For over three hours, he held police at bay until his threats to detonate explosive devices in each corner of the club forced police to act. During their breach, they killed the shooter and injured several more hostages. In the end, 50 people lay dead (including the shooter) and another 53 were injured (some seriously).

The Scene at Pulse

Miguel Leiva huddled in the womens' restroom with other club goers - some of the already shot - hoping to avoid attracting the gunman's attention.

While this video clip is not from the movie (Tracking Fire is still filming Orlando footage), it gives a clear picture of what life was like for club victims.

Unlike the grisly scene in New Orleans, the Orlando mass shooting was seen by people all over the World - who pledged their love, support and (in some cases) finances to help victims of this terrible tragedy.

You can read the latest on the Pulse Nightclub Shootings at The Orlando Sentinel's Pulse Shootings Coverage site.

An Outpouring of Love and Support

The Upstairs Lounge PlaqueHeads of State, ministers, politicians, police officers, large corporations, C.E.O.s, average citizens - everyone was impacted by the events at Pulse Nightclub in Orlando. Some sent flowers. Some sent money. Some made their support public. The outpouring of love and support for Orlando victims was incredible and it continues as LGBTQ organizations around the World work to make America's worst attack on the LGBTQ community its last attack on the LGBTQ community.

Tracking Fire will tell the stories of Pulse victims and the impact this event had on their family members and friends. It will explore the differences between the Pulse Nightclub tragedy and the Upstairs Lounge fire, and track over 50 years of struggle for LGBTQ civil rights.

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