ORLANDO, Fla. — Thousands of people have donated to funds set up to support the families of those killed or injured Sunday morning in a mass shooting at an Orlando, Florida, nightclub.
Police identified 29-year-old Omar Mateen, an American, as the gunman who opened fire at Pulse, a gay nightclub. The shooting claimed at least 50 lives and left 53 injured. Mateen later died in a shootout with a SWAT team, investigators said.
As people nationwide worked to process news of the worst mass shooting in U.S. history, Equality Florida and the GLBT Community Center of Central Florida started a pair of separate GoFundMe campaigns to support the victims and their families. Both groups are civil rights organizations focused on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights.
Both funds were verified and earmarked to go toward multiple groups supporting victims of the Pulse shooting.
"We are heartbroken and angry that senseless violence has once again destroyed lives in our state and in our country," Equality Florida said in a statement. "Gay clubs hold a significant place in LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer) history. They were often the only safe gather place and this horrific act strikes directly at our sense of safety. … We make no assumptions on motive. We will await the details in tears of sadness and anger."
More than 21,000 people had contributed to the Equality Florida campaign by 8:15 p.m. The GLBT Community Center of Central Florida had more than 3,500 people contribute to its fund.
Authorities continued to investigate the shooting Sunday.
Cox Media Group