Bishop Scott J. Jones of the Great Plains Conference issued the following statement Monday morning in response to the attack on people at a nightclub early Sunday morning in Orlando, Florida.
As many of you know, a tragedy has befallen the community of Orlando, Florida, and, indeed, our entire country.
A gunman opened fire early Sunday morning inside a nightclub frequented by people in the LGBTQ community there. According to news reports, at least 49 people were killed and at least 53 people were wounded.
We are learning more details about the shooter, who himself was killed when he tried to engage police responding to the shootings. We are still learning more details about whether he had leanings toward terrorist organizations and why he targeted this particular establishment. But these things we do know for certain: Such violence can never be condoned, and all life is precious. And in this case, it appears people were targeted because of their sexual orientation.
News reports say that the people killed ranged in age from 20 to 50. These people were sons, daughters, mothers, fathers, spouses, college students, professionals – people from all walks of life. They were gunned down in this latest example of senseless violence in our country.
As my colleague Bishop Ken Carter of Florida said, may we “announce God’s unconditional love for all people and God’s desire for nonviolence through Jesus Christ who is our peace.”
Please join me in prayer for the victims and their families. Pray for the recovery of those who were wounded both physically and emotionally. Pray for our nation that such violence would be prevented and that we never again have to face such tragedy.