Charleston Pride holds vigil for Orlando victims in downtown

Charleston Pride holds vigil for Orlando victims in downtown

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Charleston Pride held a vigil Monday night in remembrance of the victims of Sunday's deadly Orlando shooting.

It was held at the Charleston Visitor Center and Bus Shed.

Hundreds of people showed up at the event.

"Tonight we gather here to stand with Orlando," said Mike Edwards who emceed the event.

"We have a profound sense of loss, profound sense of sadness," said Mayor John Tecklenburg who called the Orlando shooting a senseless tragedy. "We are in solidarity with Orlando, we are Orlando."

Many said this tragedy brings back memories for many in the Lowcountry.

"We know what we went through with Mother Emanuel," Dot Scott said, with Charleston branch of the NAACP "Well, I say, you multiple that ten times."

Dr. Shadid Husain with the Central Mosque of Charleston encouraged gatherers to not stereotype Muslims,"Islam is a religion of peace."

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Officials say 50 lives, including that of the suspected shooter, were lost in a terror attack at Pulse and at least 53 others were injured. Names of the victims are slowly being released as officials work to notify their families.

  • St. James United Methodist Church is inviting all to a candlelight prayer vigil service for victims and families in the Orlando shooting, also at 7 p.m. The church is located at 512 St James Avenue in Goose Creek.
  • St. Padre Pio Catholic Church in Summerville will also be holding a candlelight vigil and memorial service. The service starts at 7 p.m. Wednesday at the church at 102 Old Trolley Road.

The mass shooting happened on the same week as the anniversary of the Mother Emanuel AME Church shootings in Charleston, in which the lives of nine black parishioners were taken.

There was strenth in numbers as people of all races, religions and beliefs came together to show support for Orlando.

"My heart's just with all of you guys and we hope that you all get through it very well," Matthew Murdaugh said. "We're here supporting you, as well."

"We will continue to stand with the families and with Orlando and everywhere else that has ever faced a tragedy and we will respond with love," Alyssia Valentin said.

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