Remembering victims of the Pulse Nightclub massacre

Pulse Nightclub

They all just wanted to dance.


June 12 marks one of America’s deadliest mass shootings at Pulse Nightclub, Orlando, where 49 people, mostly young LGBTQ+ and Latino people, were killed by a gunman who blasted into the venue during Pride Month.


Along with the 49 innocent people slain, 53 others were wounded during a targeted attack on the LGBT+ community.


At the time, in 2016, it was the deadliest mass shooting in American history. It remains the deadliest incident in the history of violence against LGBT people in the United States.


Gunman Omar Mateen opened fire at Pulse, an LGBT+ nightclub in Orlando, on June 12, 2016.

People inside the venue called and messaged loved ones as Mateen opened fire in the building and the venue’s Facebook page posted telling people to “get out” and “keep running”.


49 people were murdered and 53 wounded in the shooting, a targeted attack on the LGBT+ community, and the deadliest terrorist attack in the US since the 11 September attacks.

Mateen was later killed in a shootout with law enforcement.

5th Anniversary of the tragic PULSE Nightclub Massacre (DeFodi / via Getty Images)


Six years later, in 2022, LGBTQ+ figures and advocacy groups are calling attention to the Pulse shooting by remembering the victims, while also sharing the anger and frustration at US public figures, felt by so many, for not doing more to protect the LGBTQ+ community and American’s generally against gun violence.

The Human Rights Campaign, one of the nation’s biggest civil rights groups advocating for LGBTQ+ people, said the failure of those in power to pass “meaningful federal gun reform legislation” since the Pulse shooting has only worsened memories of the June 12, 2016, tragedy.


“Politicians who have been elected to serve the public are more concerned with censoring our identities and targeting trans and non-binary kids than protecting our communities from fatal violence,” said HRC Interim President Joni Madison in a statement.


Madison highlights how gun violence remains a major LGBTQ+ issue, with three-fourths of homicides against transgender people — including nearly eight in ten homicides of Black trans women — involving a gun.

“We are facing a rising tide of hate violence against our communities, attacks fueled by racism, sexism, transphobia, homophobia, xenophobia, Islamophobia, and anti-Semitism,” said Madison. “Today and every day, together we are calling for immediate, measurable action towards this transformation — action that must include common sense gun reform.”


They all just wanted to dance. 

Stanley Almodovar III, 23
Amanda Alvear, 25
Oscar A. Aracena-Montero, 26
Rodolfo Ayala-Ayala, 33
Alejandro Barrios Martinez, 21
Martin Benitez Torres, 33
Antonio D. Brown, 30
Darryl R. Burt II, 29
Jonathan A. Camuy Vega, 24
Angel L. Candelario-Padro, 28
Simon A. Carrillo Fernandez, 31
Juan Chevez-Martinez, 25
Luis D. Conde, 39
Cory J. Connell, 21
Tevin E. Crosby, 25
Franky J. Dejesus Velazquez, 50
Deonka D. Drayton, 32
Mercedez M. Flores, 26
Peter O. Gonzalez-Cruz, 22
Juan R. Guerrero, 22
Paul T. Henry, 41
Frank Hernandez, 27
Miguel A. Honorato, 30
Javier Jorge-Reyes, 40
Jason B. Josaphat, 19
Eddie J. Justice, 30
Anthony L. Laureano Disla, 25
Christopher A. Leinonen, 32
Brenda L. Marquez McCool, 49
Jean C. Mendez Perez, 35
Akyra Monet Murray, 18
Kimberly Morris, 37
Jean C. Nieves Rodriguez, 27
Luis O. Ocasio-Capo, 20
Geraldo A. Ortiz-Jimenez, 25
Eric Ivan Ortiz-Rivera, 36
Joel Rayon Paniagua, 32
Enrique L. Rios Jr., 25
Juan P. Rivera Velazquez, 37
Yilmary Rodriguez Solivan, 24
Christopher J. Sanfeliz, 24
Xavier Emmanuel Serrano Rosado, 35
Gilberto Ramon Silva Menendez, 25
Edward Sotomayor Jr., 34
Shane E. Tomlinson, 33
Leroy Valentin Fernandez, 25
Luis S. Vielma, 22
Luis Daniel Wilson-Leona , 37
Jerald A. Wright, 31

Pulse Nightclub victims


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