First Reactions to Orlando Shooting

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Still reeling from the Fort Hood massacre that claimed the lives of 13, Americans were hit hard again on Friday afternoon by news of a separate outburst of fatal gun violence in Orlando. The latest reports indicate that just before noon, someone opened fire on the 8th floor of the Legions Place high-rise office building in downtown, killing one and wounding five. The suspect remained at large until about 2:30 local time, when Jason Rodriguez, 40, was apprehended by police at his mother's home and taken into custody. Police have identified Rodriguez as a former employee of Reynolds, Smith and Hill, an engineering firm located on the eighth floor of the building where the shooting was reported. Sources indicate Rodriguez was let go from the firm nearly two years ago. At the time of this post, reporters are still attempting to analyze the suspect's only comment to the media so far, "They left me to rot." The Atlantic Wire continues to round up the reactions from around the web:

UPDATE Nov. 6, 6:20 p.m.: CNN reports that Rodriguez filed for bankruptcy last May and had most recently held a job at Subway as a "sandwich artist."


  • U.S. Sen. George LeMieux, R-Fl: “I am deeply saddened by this senseless act of violence. My thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families. I commend the Orlando Police Department and the other first responders for their quick work in identifying and apprehending the suspect.”
  • U.S. Rep. Suzanne Kosmas, D-Fl: :“Today’s shooting is a horrendous and senseless act of violence and my thoughts and prayers go out to the victims of this tragedy and to their friends, families and loved ones. I know that Orlando’s skilled first responders and emergency teams are doing all they can to ensure safety and to apprehend the perpetrator of this abhorrent crime. We should all take a moment to pause during this difficult time and give our thoughts to those affected by this unspeakable violence.”
  • U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson, D-Fl: “For the second time in as many days, this country must deal with a heinous act of violence. Sadly, this time it is in the place we call home. My thoughts and prayers go out to the victims and their families. As I watch the events unfold live from Washington D.C., I am convinced that members of the Orlando Police and Orlando Fire Department are doing everything in their power to tend to the wounded, ensure the safety of the public, and find the person responsible for this terrible crime.”
  • Gov. Charlie Crist: "Gov. Charlie Crist has just canceled the remaining events scheduled for today because he is heading to Orlando, where police are searching for a gunman who shot eight people in an office building -- killing at least two." reports Shannon Colavecchio


  • Perez Hilton: "Such tragic news! Let the healing begin. And STOP the violence!"
  • DRJ, Patterico's Pontifications: "Another day, another mass shooting"
  • Michael Roston, True/Slant: "Sounds like we’re having viral violence as someone shot up an office in Orlando, Florida:"
  • Caitlin Kelly, True/Slant: "The raw emotions that propel people into lethal violence are tinder awaiting a match. It will happen again. I’m surprised it doesn’t happen more frequently."
  • Bob Felton: "Dawn and I met when each of us worked as civil engineers in Orlando, Florida; our firms happened to joint-venture on a project. Neither of us worked for Reynolds, Smith & Hill, but each of our firms had a professional relationship with RS&H and both of us knew people who worked there. That was years ago, now, but it is entirely realistic to imagine that, were we still in Florida, either of us might have been in the building this morning. So we wait for … the list, and wonder how the world got so nuts."
  • Patrick, Political Byline:  "I mean, did someone put some crazy syrup in the water supply? Seriously! I mean, I know unemployment is at 10.2 percent and all; but Christ Almighty! Getting your bang bang on ain’t gonna fix nothin’ at all."
  • Joe Gandelman, The Moderate Voice: "Is there something in the water, is this a coincidence…or what?"
  • Steve Benen, The Washington Monthly: "A tragic part of American life is that, from time to time, we learn of horrific shootings like the one at Fort Hood yesterday. There was, apparently, another shooting this morning, this time in Orlando, in which one was killed and seven were critically wounded. The gunman wasn't a Muslim."
  • Robert Stein, Connecting.The.Dots.: "For a moment, real life has pushed political rhetoric to the background but when the confetti has been swept up and the bodies buried, America will still be torn by the fears and hatreds raging through its bloodstream as unemployment reaches double digits."

Recommended Reading


  • John P Vajda: shootings in Fort Hood and Orlando within 1 day. Gun control in the US anyone? What a violent country we live in. Disgusting.
  • Gabriel Roth: If the shooter in Orlando turns out to be a Christian, I'm sure we'll be hearing a lot of commentary about that.
  • GregMitch: Wow: Orlando TV say shooter was caught after, guess who, tipped off police? Mom.
  • Jim Treacher: Orlando shooter a disgruntled ex-employee? Let's not jump to conclusions.
  • Adam Clery: A word of advice following todays shootings in #orlando - Psycologists always expect at least two or three copycat incidents...

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.