Following the tragic mass shooting that occurred in Orlando at gay nightclub Pulse, resulting in the death of 49 people and the injury of over 50 more, Mayor Robert Garcia hosted a special gathering at DTLB’s Harvey Milk Park in honor of the victims—and drew hundreds of Long Beach supporters.
”Our community was attacked,” Garcia said at the event. “It was also very clearly a hate crime… [Gay bars] are sanctuaries, places where people want to be safe—and that was violated.”
The shooting came amidst Los Angeles’ own celebration of Pride that same weekend, the second SoCal Pride celebration following Long Beach’s, which took place this past May.
Shortly after the tragedy in Orlando, Los Angeles police arrested a man reportedly from Indiana on his way to LA Pride after discovering his car filled with weapons, ammunition, and chemicals typically used to make pipe bombs. While there is currently no direct connection between this arrest and the Orlando tragedy, Garcia has said that LBPD will be on heightened presence.
”I am horrified by this shooting and senseless act of mass murder. I am so angry and my heart breaks for the victims and their families,” Garcia said. “But for those wondering, our Long Beach Police Department is in contact with our LGBTQ Center and we are working together to ensure that our LGBTQ bars, establishments, and gatherings are safe.”