Hundreds gather for Orlando vigil in Loring Park

- Minnesota leaders and community members are reacting to the tragedy in Orlando.

Police say early Sunday, a gunman with an assault-type rifle opened fire at Pulse Orlando, a gay nightclub, before dying in a gunfight with SWAT officers. Officials believe at least 50 people were killed and dozens of others wounded.

Hundreds gathered for a vigil in Loring Park in Minneapolis to show their support for the victims of the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando.

OutFront Minnesota, a LGBTQ group, organized the event in light of the shooting. 

At the vigil, people united through song and prayer, coming together to mourn.



Governor Mark Dayton released the following statement, ordering flags to be flown at half-staff in honor of the victims:

"The horrific act of hatred and terror in Orlando was an unfathomable attack upon all of humanity. Our hearts go out to the innocent victims of that heinous assault. Following the Order by President Obama that all federal flags be flown at half-staff until sunset on June 16, 2016 as a mark of respect for the victims, I hereby order that all flags of the State of Minnesota also be flown at half-staff for that same period of time." 

Dayton also asked Minnesota DOT to light the I-35W bridge in Minneapolis with rainbow colors until Thursday June 16.

Minneapolis Police Chief Janee Harteau also shared some words in light of the tragedy:

"On behalf of the entire MPD, we are sending our thoughts and prayers to the victims of the shootings in Orlando. Along with the rest of the nation and law enforcement community, we grieve with the victim’s families and the people in Florida. The mass shooting that’s occurred is shocking, sad and intolerable. The MPD wants to reassure residents and visitors in our city that we remain vigilant and committed to ensuring people are safe at large scale events with significant crowds. We continue to be in constant communication with our federal partners to make that possible. We stand with and protect all of our citizens in the fight against violence of any kind, including crime driven by hate to instill fear."

Leaders from the Somali American Task Force, based in Minneapolis also commented on the shooting:

"We the Somali American Task Force are saddened and shaken by the senseless killings of innocent people in Orlando, Florida and we condemn in the strongest possible terms of any act of terrorism and extremism such as this one."



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