A GoFundMe page launched to raise money for the victims of the Orlando shooting massacre has already raised over $2.7 million.
The fundraising site was set up by Florida-based LGBT civil rights organization, Equality Florida, in response to the devastating attack on popular LGBT nightclub Pulse in the early hours of Sunday morning, which left 49 victims dead and 53 wounded.
“We are reeling from the tragic news that a gunman opened fire on the 2am capacity crowd at Pulse leaving 50 people dead and over 50 injured according to Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer,” a message on the GoFundMe page reads.
“We are heartbroken and angry that senseless violence has once again destroyed lives in our state and in our country.”
Omar Mateen, a 29-year-old U.S.-born citizen of Afghani descent, was killed by police during a shootout at around 2 a.m. ET after committing the worst mass shooting in American history.
The shooter, who has been described as “mentally ill” by his ex-wife, called 911 during the Orlando attacks and reportedly pledged his allegiance to ISIS. Amaq Agency, a news outlet associated with the so-called Islamic State, reported the terror group claimed responsibility for the violence, which would mark the worst terror attack on U.S. soil since the tragic events of Sept. 11, 2001.
Equality Florida is now working with the National Center for Victims of Crime, which deployed funds in both the Chattanooga and Aurora shootings, to distribute the contributions from the GoFundMe page.
See the full message on the site below.
Equality Florida statement on mass shooting at Orlando gay club:
We are reeling from the tragic news that a gunman opened fire on the 2am capacity crowd at Pulse leaving 50 people dead and over 50 injured according to Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer.
We are heartbroken and angry that senseless violence has once again destroyed lives in our state and in our country.
Gay clubs hold a significant place in LGBTQ history. They were often the only safe gathering place and this horrific act strikes directly at our sense of safety. June commemorates our community standing up to anti-LGBTQ violence at the Stonewall Inn, the nightclub that has become the first LGBTQ site recognized as a national monument.
We have received a steady stream of emails and messages from those seeking to help or to make sense of the senseless. We make no assumptions on motive. We will await the details in tears of sadness and anger. We stand in solidarity and keep our thoughts on all whose lives have been lost or altered forever in this tragedy.
We are working with the National Center for Victims of Crime, which deployed funds in both the Chattanooga and Aurora shootings, to distribute the contributions from this GoFundMe page (http://nationalcompassionfund.org/faq/).
This organization offers support to communities affected by mass casualty events in the form of the National Compassion Fund, and ensure that every penny donated will be correctly and quickly dispersed to the victims and families.
We ask all victims to call this hotline to begin this process:
VictimConnect Resource Center