Celebrities are one in mourning the deaths of at least 50 people, who perished at the Orlando shooting spree that took place inside a gay dance club in Orlando, Florida during the early hours of Sunday.
Their brutal deaths came at the hands of a 29-year-old man, whom police identified as Omar Mateen of Ft. Pierce, Florida. According to reports, Omar entered the nightclub Pulse with an assault rifle and a handgun, and opened fire, killing 50 patrons and wounding 53 others.
Moments after news about the senseless Orlando shooting came out, celebrities and public officials took to social media to air their sympathies and shock.
Lady Gaga, who has been an icon and outspoken role model of the LGBT community, urged her?followers to support the families of the victims.
I pray for all the victims families ?? during this shooting epidemic. That their pain be met with compassion and support from the world.
— xoxo, Gaga (@ladygaga) June 12, 2016
She also expressed her hopes of seeing a world free of violence and hatred:
It's a traumatizing & emotional time for a many people. I dream of the world reflecting on what we can do to change this violence. #Orlando
— xoxo, Gaga (@ladygaga) June 12, 2016
Actress and recording artist Queen Latifah, who supports marriage equality, expressed her support for the LGBT community:
My?? Breaks for the LGBTQ community in Orlando!We are 1! You Touch one of us you Touch All of us! Freedom ain't Free! STAND UP AMERICA!
— Queen Latifah (@IAMQUEENLATIFAH) June 12, 2016
Singer Gloria Estefan in her Instagram said that love and compassion is what the world needs in this time of grieving.
My heart breaks for the friends and families of the souls whose lives were taken by two senseless acts of violence in two days in Orlando, Florida, a place I consider my home. As these massacres become commonplace it becomes even more important for us to love each other as much as humanly possible and to never lose hope that we can somehow make things better. Love will always win and lead us through the darkness into the light…????May the souls of the victims rest in peace… Mi corazón se parte pensando en los amigos y familiares de las almas a quienes le arrebataron sus vidas en dos actos de violencia sin sentido en Orlando, Florida, un lugar que consideró mi hogar. Y mientras que estos masacres se hacen más comunes es aún más importante que nos amemos más que nunca y que no perdamos la esperanza que de alguna manera podemos mejorar las cosas. El amor siempre ganara y nos guiará a través de de la obscuridad hacia la luz…????? Que las almas de las víctimas descansen en paz…
The Tony Awards Productions and its host television network CBS in a statement dedicated the show to the victims and the families that they left behind.
— Michael Paulson (@MichaelPaulson) June 12, 2016
The statement reads:
?Out of respect for this morning?s events we dedicate tonight?s ceremony, broadcast and all of the performances to those affected by this tragedy. The Tony Awards is about celebrating live theater, illuminating the human condition in all its diverse forms. We walk into The Beacon Theater tonight with thoughts of our brothers and sisters in our Orlando clearly in our hearts ? Tony Awards Productions and CBS?
Talk show host and actor James Corden delivered a heartfelt speech during the opening of the Tony awards:
Tonys: James Corden Gives Somber Opening on Orlando Shooting https://t.co/vVdfltQoHb
— Hollywood Reporter (@THR) June 13, 2016
Actress and author Mindy Kaling calls the act of violence ?unspeakable.?
Unspeakable. So much suffering today. My heart goes out to the families of the victims in Orlando. #Pride
— Mindy Kaling (@mindykaling) June 12, 2016
Talented comedienne Amy Schumer tagged the shooting as ?sickening.?
Sickening news. All my love to Orlando.
— Amy Schumer (@amyschumer) June 12, 2016
Actor and former professional wrestler Dwayne ?The Rock? Johnson tweeted that people will ?rise and persevere.?
Sending strength to our #Orlando victims & their families. Very angry, but you can't break what you didn't build. We will rise & persevere.
— Dwayne Johnson (@TheRock) June 12, 2016
Elton John, a popular champion of LGBT social movements, tweeted his concern for the families of the victims. His post came with an image containing a famous quote from Martin Luther King Jr.: ?Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.?
— Elton John (@eltonofficial) June 12, 2016
Justin Timberlake said in an Instagram post that the tragedy broke his heart.
Last night – in celebration of pride- a group of people – people like you or me or your neighbors or family were dancing & listening to music & celebrating life, just like you or me or your neighbors would. And then, one man and his guns took that life away from them. That's cruel. And it's exactly against what America stands for. I try to make music that hopefully brings joy to people and makes people dance and makes people feel and makes people LOVE… Because there's nothing more pure and beautiful than that act- and the fact that that resulted in the largest mass shooting in American history leaves me heartbroken. I used to LIVE there. I hope we can wake up and realize we are ALL THE SAME. Just humans. One species. Just wanting to be LOVED. #PrayForOrlando #MoreLoveLessHate
Prior to the Tony Awards, Broadway actress Megan Hitty expressed her sympathy through Twitter:
My heart is breaking for our country & for those who lost friends/family members in this horrific act of hate & violence. #StandWithOrlando
— Megan Hilty (@meganhilty) June 12, 2016
Neil Patrick Harris, a vocal advocate of gay rights and equality, who married his long-time partner actor-chef David Burtka in 2014, expressed his shock on Twitter:
The tragedy in Orlando is just beyond sad. My deepest regrets to all those suffering. There are no words that suffice. I'm…stunned.
— Neil Patrick Harris (@ActuallyNPH) June 12, 2016
Theater and film actress Idina Menzel tweeted that she sympathizes with the mothers who lost their sons to the senseless shooting tragedy:
I'm too sad. Feeling helpless. I want a better world for my son. I want to take away the pain of the mothers of Orlando sons. so so sorry.
— Idina Menzel (@idinamenzel) June 12, 2016
Kristin Chenoweth echoed the thoughts and feelings of the world:
We?re asking the same question, Kristin. When will the violence and hate end?
For more updates on the Orlando shooting, check out TheBitBag.