Utahns react to Orlando shooting; public vigil planned Monday – Salt Lake Tribune









































































A candlelight vigil has been planned for Monday in Salt Lake City in the wake of the mass shooting in Orlando that killed at least 50 people.

Organized by Equality Utah, the vigil will take place at 7 p.m. on the east steps of the Salt Lake City and County Building. Candles will be provided, according to Troy Williams, Executive Director of Equality Utah, which is organizing the memorial.

“This is a moment for our community to come together.” Williams told the Tribune. “What happened is a tragedy, but we know this could have happened anywhere. We don’t want to be intimidated by fear, we want to stand in strength and solidarity and love. This is the action of one madman and makes no commentary on America as a whole or the Muslim community.”











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For further details, click on the event’s Facebook page here.

Gov. Gary Herbert has ordered all flags in Utah to be flown at half staff “to honor the victims of this act of terror,” he said on Twitter. Herbert further stated in a press release that “As Utahns, we must unite together with those from around the world in love and prayer for our brothers and sisters who are the victims of this terrible tragedy.”

Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski released a statement in response to the shooting, which read in part, “As an openly gay woman, I can’t help but view this tragedy as an attack on all people who identify as LGBTQ — a hate crime perpetrated to silence our community during the month of Pride, a time when we openly celebrate who we are and the joy of self acceptance … As a mayor charged with keeping a city safe, I can’t help but feel we are failing to address a societal ill, one where a person can senselessly kill so many with nothing more than a motive and a gun — and that we fail to learn lessons from these repeated tragedies.”

“With the rest of the nation, we mourn the tragic loss of life and serious injuries that occurred in Orlando this morning,” said a statement that was released from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. “We pray for the families and loved ones of the victims of this senseless shooting and pray they will be comforted and cared for as they seek to heal. Our prayers and support are also with community leaders and law enforcement officials as they continue to investigate this shocking crime.”

“Violence aimed at a specific community makes us all a target of hatred,” said James Rogers, Salt Lake City Council Chair. “We grieve for those whose loved ones have been killed and injured in this horrific shooting. We cannot and will not let this tragic incident of senseless aggression drive us to cower in a corner when it comes to living our lives peacefully and free of persecution.”

“Our thoughts and prayers for those killed and injured in Orlando are appropriate today,” said Utah House Democratic Leader Brian King in a statement released Sunday. “But the time is far spent for that alone. Not one more life should be lost due to any lack of understanding about how to deal with mass killings in America. As a state and country we need to provide the resources to make progress on getting the answers to questions about how to reduce the number of mass killings and the lethality of those events.”




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