Remembering the victims of Pulse Night club seven years later
ELMIRA, N.Y. (WENY) -- A gay club in Orlando Florida saw the deadliest tragedy on June 12th, 2016. An LGBTQ+ club was struck with violence around 2 A.M. when Omar Marteen unloaded his weapon, killing dozens and injuring dozens more. While the tragedy took place in Florida, that didn't stop it from being felt across the country. One gay Southern Tier man shares how it affects the LGBTQ+ community in Florida and nationwide.
“That really was the start of the violence. Not only to the LGBTQ community but also people of middle eastern decent and people that were Jewish and Asian," said Chemung Co. 11th District Legislator Brent Stermer.
Stermer, who is gay, said many aspects of that horrific night are still being felt today. The Pulse Night Club massacre is the deadliest act against the LGBTQ+ community in American history.
“I remember hearing the news and I had friends in Florida for a very long time and I was very concerned,” shares Stermer.
During a three-hour stand-off with police, Mateen did not surrender but was killed by local law enforcement.
The Pulse Night Club massacre is the deadliest act against the LGBTQ+ community in American history. Prior to this attack, the deadliest shooting was at Sandy Hook Elementary in 2012. As more and more mass shootings take place Stermer said he has gotten more nervous over the years. Not for himself, but for his loved ones.
“I think as I get older, I know more people around the world, and all though I get nervous when I hear about something. That particular piece was very emotional because of the amount of people killed,” added Stermer.
Florida Republican Governor Ron DeSantis has requested flags be flown at half-staff to pay respect to the victims.