ORLANDO, Fla. - A foundation created after the 2016 shooting massacre at the Pulse gay nightclub in Orlando posted a statement Sunday saying it is "deeply saddened and concerned" to hear about the shooting at a LGBTQ nightclub in Colorado Springs Saturday night that left multiple dead and several others injured.
The onePULSE Foundation, which was established as a "sanctuary of hope" in honor of the 49 people killed, posted the statement as the caption of a photo on its Facebook page displaying the words, "Stand Together." The statement included a message to the Pulse-affected community: "please practice selfcare and make sure that you have your support network around you today and this week."
"To the Central Florida community, let’s make sure that the Colorado Springs community knows that Orlando is here for them after another senseless act of violence against the LGBTQIA+ community. This epidemic of hate and violence must come to an end," the post added.
The foundation plans to hold a "moment of prayer and reflection" at the Pulse Interim Memorial at 5 p.m., to stand together with all impacted by the tragedy in Colorado.
The One Orlando Alliance (OOA), a nonprofit organization created in the aftermath of the Pulse tragedy to support the greater Orlando community, also released a statement as it prepares to hold its annual remembrance ceremony for the transgender community at 3 p.m. at the Joy Metropolitan Community Church.
The Colorado Springs shooting came during Transgender Awareness Week and hours before Sunday’s International Transgender Day of Remembrance, when events around the world are held to mourn and memorialize transgender people lost to violence. The shooting was sure to bring special resonance to Sunday’s events.
"As we are getting ready to honor at least 32 members of the trans community violently killed, we are now also mourning 5 people taken too soon at Club Q," the organization said. "As a community that intimately knows the painful experience created by an attack on our safe spaces, we call upon our elected officials to act by creating common sense gun safety legislation," Felipe Sousa-Lazaballet, OOA's board chair and Hope CommUnity Center Executive Director, said in a statement.
PULSE REMEMBRANCE HEADLINES:
- 'We love you and miss you': 49 angels remembered in Pulse Remembrance Ceremony
- Watch: Bell ringing ceremony to honor Pulse nightclub shooting victims
- Remembering Pulse: 49 crosses honor victims at Orange County History Center
As of Sunday morning, police in Colorado Springs said at least five people and 18 others were injured when a 22-year-old gunman reportedly opened fired at Club Q shortly before midnight. Authorities said in a news conference the gunman was subdued by "heroic" patrons and arrested by police who arrived on the scene within about five minutes.
Two firearms, including a "long rifle," were found at the scene at Club Q, said Colorado Springs Police Department Chief Adrian Vasquez.
The violence is the sixth mass killing this month and comes in a year when the nation was shaken by the deaths of 21 in a school shooting in Uvalde, Texas.
Although a motive in the shooting wasn’t yet clear, nor were the gender identities of the victims, the incident came as anti-gay rhetoric has intensified by extremists. In a statement, Club Q termed the shooting a hate attack.
"We thank the quick reactions of heroic customers that subdued the gunman and ended this hate attack," the post stated.