As the details and names connected with a fatal mass shooting in Orlando continue to unfold, leaders of Georgia and of Atlanta are speaking out, offering their thoughts and prayers for the 50 killed and even more injured.
Here is what these organizations have to say in the wake of a national tragedy.
Senator David Purdue
My heart breaks for those injured and killed this morning in this horrific act of terror. Bonnie and I join our fellow Georgians in lifting up the victims and their families during this devastating time. We also offer our support to the brave law enforcement officials and the state of Florida as they work to aid the victims and investigate this reprehensible act of mass violence.
Dianne and I send our thoughts and prayers to the families and loved ones of those so tragically murdered this morning in Orlando, Fla.
Acts of terrorism such as this should only strengthen our resolve as Americans to protect our freedoms and the ideals that make our country great. Radical terrorism is a threat to those ideals. We should pursue those responsible and those who support them with the full force and power of our country wherever the pursuit takes us.
The people of Orlando, from the first responders to neighbors that woke up to this horrific news, continue stepping forward to help each other – whether it is directly as in the case of first responders, or by giving blood and raising up prayers. I thank each of them as we pray for our nation.”
I offer my deepest condolences and my prayers to the victims of last night’s shooting in Orlando, and to their loved ones. The City of Atlanta shares in your grief today and stands shoulder to shoulder with the City of Orlando and with every American city which has had to endure such unspeakable acts of violence and terrorism.
I also wish to express my unwavering support for our city’s LGBT residents, who are mourning their brothers and sisters in Orlando. June is a special month for the LGBT community, filled with celebrations and fellowship. I am saddened that moments of joy have been turned to tears of grief, anger and sorrow by this act of hate.
I want to reaffirm my administration’s commitment to taking every precaution to ensure the safety and security of the City of Atlanta, particularly at establishments that serve our LGBT community.
My administration's number one priority remains the safety of all of Atlanta's residents and visitors. This will never waver. All people, no matter their race, gender, religion or sexual orientation, have the right to safety and security.
Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, Georgia Chapter
Last night, a tragic shooting took place in an Orlando nightclub which left at least 50 dead and countless injured. Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims' families and friends and we pray for the speedy recovery of the injured. Islam teaches reverence for all human life. This is a time to pray and act to stop such senseless violence in our nation.
Soumaya Khalifa with Islamic Speakers Bureau of Atlanta
We mourn the loss of innocent life. Our prayers are with the family and friends of the victims. And we thank the brave men and women of law enforcement for their courage in bringing this massacre to an end.
Rep. John Lewis
As the details of this tragic incident become more clear, I am deeply saddened and very disturbed by what has been visited on the Orlando community. As I said earlier today, how many more must die? How long must we wander through this dark killing field filled with the broken bodies of hundreds—even precious little children—before we finally take strong action against the accessibility of assault weapons in this country?
We have the right in a democratic society to differ with others, to choose alternate lifestyles and places of worship. And we even have the right to find fault with others and debate these issues passionately in the public square, but there is nothing—not one thing, not anything—that can justify the murder of innocent people.
This is a terrible vicious act that must be condemned by the community of nations. I hope it will remind all of us of the critical urgency to build a society and a world community that does not so readily reach for violence as a way to solve human problems. And I hope it will compel us to seriously reflect on the words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. who said,“We must learn to live together as brothers and sisters, or we will all perish together as fools.”
The people of the 5th Congressional District of Georgia send their most profound and heartfelt prayers to the people of Orlando. We lift up the victims, their families and the LGBTQ community of Orlando. We pray they will all be rocked and soothed in the protective arms of unconditional divine love in the difficult and dark days of healing that lie ahead.
Other reactions to the tragedy in Orlando