Hundreds gather at Bay Shore vigil for Orlando victims
More than 1,000 people gathered in Bay Shore Monday for a vigil to honor the victims of the Orlando, Florida shooting.
The candlelight vigil was held at the LGBT Network Center. As News 12 has reported, 49 people were killed and 53 others were injured when a gunman opened fire at Pulse, a gay nightclub in Orlando, early Sunday morning.
"That place should have been a safe place for people to go...to have a good time," says Christopher Smith, of Hicksville. "And they were slaughtered just for being themselves. It's horrible."
Authorities have blamed Omar Mateen, a 29-year-old American-born Muslim, for the attack. They say he was previously investigated by the FBI for possible ties to terrorist organizations.
David Kilmnick, CEO of Long Island's LGBT Network, put together the vigil.
"Whether you're LGBT, whether you're straight or whether you are a friend or co-worker, we need to come together as a one community to make sure that violence stops and ends against all of our communities," Kilmnick says.
The shooting comes during Gay Pride Month, which is celebrated across the country.
Suffolk County Police Commissioner Timothy Sini was among the officials who attended the vigil. He pledged that police officers would uphold their oaths to protect and serve all of Suffolk County in the wake of the terror attack.
The vigil began at the network's center on Park Avenue at 7 p.m.