Families of some of the 49 people killed in a massacre at an Orlando nightclub will bury their dead on Friday, as the whole city holds funerals over the next two weeks for victims of the worst mass shooting in modern U.S. history.
Like many of the victims of Sunday’s attack on the Pulse club, Anthony Luis Laureano Disla, 25, was from Puerto Rico. He is to be buried on Friday, according to the Newcomer Funeral Home.
The gunman, Omar Mateen, a 29-year-old U.S. citizen born in New York to Afghan immigrant parents, claimed allegiance to a conflicting list of militant groups, including ISIS, in a series of phone calls and internet messages during his three-hour rampage, which ended when police shot him dead.
U.S. officials said they do not believe he was assisted from abroad in the attack, which also wounded 53 people. Members of 94 families who had relatives among the dead and wounded have visited a downtown football stadium where civil agencies are proving relief services, Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer told reporters on Friday.
Dyer said he would go to the funerals that families asked him to attend. “I will ask the community to do the same … These are private ceremonies, people are hurting,” he said.
President Barack Obama, who met survivors of the shooting and families of the dead in Orlando on Thursday, urged Congress to pass measures to make it harder to legally acquire high-powered weapons like the semi-automatic rifle used in the attack.
Mateen carried out the slaughter with the rifle and a handgun that had been legally purchased although he had twice been investigated by the FBI for possible connections with militant extremist groups.
Congress is under pressure to respond and on Thursday the Senate moved towards voting on a series of gun control measures, although it is far from likely the measures will pass. The Senate is expected to vote on Monday on four proposals for gun restrictions.