Families Of Nightclub Shooting Victims Gather In Orlando

Jun 13, 2016
Originally published on June 13, 2016 10:58 pm
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KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:

There are several new details today about the gunman who killed 49 people early yesterday morning at a gay nightclub in Orlando. We're going to get all the latest information about the investigation coming up in the next several minutes. We are also going to spend time in Orlando, which is where our co-host Ari Shapiro has been reporting since yesterday. And he's with us now. Hi, Ari.

ARI SHAPIRO, BYLINE: Hi, Kelly.

MCEVERS: Tell us where you've been today and who you've been talking to.

SHAPIRO: I spent a lot of today at the Beardall Senior Center in downtown Orlando which is just a mile from the Pulse Nightclub where the shooting took place. The victims' family members were here at the senior center today getting briefed from the FBI and police because while the authorities identified the victims of the shooting pretty quickly, notifying the next of kin has been kind of a slower procedure.

MCEVERS: I know earlier today there were crowds of news trucks and cameras surrounding this senior center, but you actually met two people there who were doing something different. Tell us about them.

SHAPIRO: Yeah, two young women pushing a stroller, going from car to car - I walked up to them and asked them to introduce themselves.

LAURA HOOKS: I'm Laura Hooks.

JACKIE KENDALL: I'm Jackie Kendall.

SHAPIRO: So you've got a tote bag full of carnations, and you're putting one under each windshield wiper with a little card that says, we love you.

HOOKS: Yep. We just live around the block and realized that these were cars of victims' families coming to hear news about their loved one they may have lost today. So we were just feeling for them and wanted to put a little token on their car to let them know that they're loved and aren't alone and Orlando grieves with them.

SHAPIRO: This whole city is grieving, Kelly, especially the LGBT community which was hit so hard by these attacks. In a few minutes, we'll hear more about how the gay community is coping with this. But first we have some more information on the investigation. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.