The Orlando massacre has become the deadliest mass shooting in the history of the United States, surpassing the death toll from the 2007 incident at Virginia Tech, which claimed 32 lives.
"People are quiet," he told Sputnik. "They don't know why, why Orlando, why the LGBT community.
RT Spanish correspondent Nick Sanchez reports that local community members are standing in confusion by the site of the Pulse nightclub where 50 people were killed by a Daesh supporter.
"It's sort of like a vigil," he told Sputnik. "The atmosphere is of complete shock. There aren't any outbursts but rather people appear to be just very sad."
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
Sanchez is reporting from just a few hundred meters away from the nightclub, by a police checkpoint keeping bystanders and media out. He noted that police are everywhere and dozens of media outlets are also present.
"Obviously there are tons of different state officials, including state police and Orlando police officers," he explained. "It's still ongoing investigation."
Sanchez described the scene as "tense and quiet," noting about 150 residents were standing together nearby. Talking to bystanders, he noted that "sadness" seems to be the prevailing mood.
"The sense I get is that it is like a vigil," he said. "Nobody is shouting, there's no outburst of rage — everybody is very sad. They don't understand why it happened here in Orlando, why the gay community. In a place and town that is completely peaceful, a town known for being the 'Magic City,' for its state of the art parks, for the joy of families and children. They are very shocked."
He also noted that the shops around the area were all closed.
Orlando Gay Chorus sings "True Colors" at the Joy MCC vigil. Congregation members singing along through tears. pic.twitter.com/tNkAu7stiG— Hayley Tsukayama (@htsuka) June 12, 2016
"People are focusing in on victims," he said. "Lots of them were known here. You can see many LGBT flags and rainbow colors."