In the wake of the deadliest mass shooting in American history that occurred this morning in Orlando, Florida, mourners will gather at Jackson Heights‘ Diversity Plaza tonight for a vigil for the victims.
As announced by Councilman Daniel Dromm, the vigil will take place at 7:30 p.m. at Diversity Plaza on 37th Road between 73rd and 74th streets.
Dromm, along with City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito and members of the LGBT and Muslim communities, will pay respects to the at least 50 people murdered in the terrorist attack at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, while also denouncing gun violence and intolerance.
According to published reports, a lone gunman walked into the popular gay nightclub at 2 a.m. and began firing. In addition to the 50 reported deaths, at least 53 others were hospitalized with related injuries; many of them were described as being “critically ill” during an 11 a.m. press conference.
Law enforcement agencies have described the slaughter as an act of domestic terrorism. The suspected shooter, identified as Omar Mateen of Port St. Lucie, Florida, was shot and killed by responding police officers. CNN reported that Mateen had an assault rifle and a handgun in his possession. The motive remains under investigation.
Meanwhile, Mayor Bill de Blasio ordered all American flags to be flown at half-staff until further notice. City Hall will be illuminated in rainbow colors this evening in tribute to the victims.