Shots fired near The Brick; no injuries, damage reported

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Dallas police are investigating an incident in which shots were fired near Brick Dallas last night (Friday, June 17) during the nightclub’s Juneteenth celebration, according to a notice on the bar’s Facebook page posted shortly after 7 a.m. today (Saturday, June 18). There were no injuries or damage reported.

“The Brick would like to thank everybody who came out tonight for the Juneteenth celebration. There were some shots fired in the air from a car on Wycliff street tonight. Description of the car was given to the police and they are on top off this. Everything is fine at the Brick; thank you for everyone’s concern.”

In a comment on that post, the bar’s management thanked Dallas police for “being on top of this incident in Oak Lawn.”

In a message to Dallas Voice this morning, the bar’s management added, “Just glad no one was affected from this senseless crime. We had armed security [Friday night] and will tonight [Saturday night] as well. We also do wand checks for weapons and bag checks. We do all we can at the door, but we can’t patrol the streets.”

Brick Dallas is located at 2525 Wycliff.

—  Tammye Nash

LOVE IS LOVE: Make a statement, help a good cause

Love Is Love Orlando

It’s been five days now, but if you’re like me, the mass murder that occurred early Sunday morning, June 12,  in the Orlando gay nightclub called Pulse still weighs heavy on your heart. If you’re like me, you want to do something — anything — to help, in some way. Now, Greenville Avenue T-shirt shop Bullzerk — you can do something. And you can look stylish while you do.

Bullzerk is now selling the “Love is Love, Orlando” T-shirt, modeled in the photo above by Dallas Voice’s very own Chad Mantooth. The shop will donate 10 percent of all their sales today and tomorrow (Friday and Saturday, June 17-18), to the fund to benefit the Pulse shooting victims.

The folks at Bullzerk told Dallas Voice: “We are printing this #‎LoveIsLove shirt over the next three days, so Dallasites can start wearing their support for #‎Orlando. Stop by the Greenville store and you can pick your color. This Friday and Saturday we are also donating 10 percent of all sales (not just this shirt) to the #‎PulseOrlando victims fund.”

You can order your shirt — for $23 — online here, or go by Bullzerk’s shop at 1909 Greenville Ave.

—  Tammye Nash

Equality Florida sets up GoFundMe Page for Orlando shooting victims

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Equality Florida, a statewide civil rights organization for Florida’s LGBT community, on Sunday, June 12, set up a GoFundMe page to collect donations to support the victims of the shooting at Pulse nightclub in Florida.

There were 49 people murdered in the nightclub and another 53, at least, injured. The gunman was killed by police, bringing the death toll to 50.

The goal for the fundraising effort is $2.5 million. As of 2 p.m. Monday, June 13, the effort had already collected $2,094,435.

Equality Florida is working with the National Center for Victims of Crime, which deployed funds in both the Chattanooga and Aurora shootings, to distribute the contributions collected through the GoFundMe page. NCVC offers support to communities affected by mass casualty events in the form of the National Compassion Fund, and ensure that every penny donated will be correctly and quickly dispersed to the victims and families.

Victims of the Orlando shooting are asked to call VictimConnect Resource Center at 855-4-VICTIM (855-484-2846) to begin the process of receiving funds.

—  Tammye Nash

Ranch Hand Rescue offers counseling in the wake of Orlando shooting

Because the shooting at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Fla., is likely to impact LGBT people in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex as well as surrounding areas, the counseling team at Ranch Hand Rescue’s Counseling Center in Argyle is offering counseling services to any individual who needs a safe place to discuss how this event has impacted them.

Bob Williams, founder of the Texas-based Ranch Hand Rescue Counseling Center & Animal Sanctuary, said, “Our team stands ready to assist in any way we can to help those impacted by this senseless tragedy. Our mental health professionals specialize in providing trauma-informed counseling and will provide support to those in our community who have been directly traumatized by this event.  It’s important when these types of things happen that we help each other in any way we can.”

Williams explained that Ranch Hand Rescue’s mission is “to provide hope, healing and a sense of security” for people, particularly children, who have suffered severe trauma, including physical and sexual abuse, rape, domestic violence and witnessing murder and suicide. The organization uses equine/animal-assisted counseling, which partners rescued animals with people, under the guidance of a licensed professional counselor, in mental health counseling sessions, conducted at the organization’s animal sanctuary South Argyle.

For information about counseling call 940-464-0985 or email bob@ranchhandrescue.org.

Find more information on Ranch Hand Rescue here. http://ranchhandrescue.org.

—  Tammye Nash

E.B. Johnson: We can’t continue to send condolences while failing at prevention

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Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson

U.S. Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson, the Democrat representing Texas’ 30th District, has long been an ally of the LGBT community. Today (Monday, June 13), Congresswoman Johnson released this statement in response to the shooting at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history:

“My thoughts and prayers go out to all the victims of this senseless shooting. This attack was an act of hate that marred a weekend where millions of LGBT Americans held Pride events in cities across the country. It is outrageous that the LGBT community was targeted with such violence.

“There have been reports that the ex-wife of the shooter claims he suffered from mental illness. If this is true, this event provides another example of the need for reform to our mental health system. As the lead Democratic cosponsor of H.R. 2646, the Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act, I recognize the need to be able to identify and treat those with mental illnesses before their illnesses result in deadly acts.

“Tragically, news reports about mass gun violence have become a constant presence in our everyday lives. This attack reiterates the need for our country to fundamentally rethink the gun culture and the laws that surround it in America. When one man, with a history of domestic abuse and mental illness, is able to buy a gun, murder 49 people and injure more than 50 others, it highlights the deficiencies in our current system. We must not continue to send condolences to the countless victims of violence without doing everything in our power to prevent more families and communities from suffering from this kind of senseless violence. We must act now to end mass shootings in our country.”

—  Tammye Nash

PULSE ORLANDO UPDATE: Identifying the victims

PULSE: IN memory

In a press conference just completed in Orlando, Fla., authorities have upped the number of people shot to death in Pulse Orlando from “about 20” to 50 dead and 53 injured, making it “the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history, eclipsing the 2007 massacre at Virginia Tech university, which left 32 dead,” according to Reuters.

The shooter has been identified by family members as Omar Mateen, a 29-year-old husband and father of one from Fort Pierce, Fla.

Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer and other officials said that they are focusing right now identifying the victims inside the bar and notifying relatives.

Those who are trying to locate friends or relatives inside the nightclub at the time of the attack are asked to call 407-246-4357.

Anyone with information about Mateen or other information that might be pertinent to the investigation is asked to call 1-800-CALL FBI, and choose option 2.

—  Tammye Nash

Authorities identify Pulse nightclub shooter

Omar Mateen

Photo of a man said to be Omar Mateen, the man who killed at least 20 people inside an Orlando gay bar early Sunday morning

The man who opened fire inside a crowded gay bar in Orlando shortly before 2 a.m. has been identified as Omar Mateen, 29, of Fort Pierce, Fla.

Authorities have said they don’t know the motivation behind the shooting, but they are referring to it as an act of terrorism, because of the number of casualties, and early on suggested the shooter might have been “radicalized” through possible ties to Islamic jihadists.

Washington Post is reporting that Mateen’s family is from Afghanistan, but the shooter himself appears to have been born in the U.S. Relatives said Mateen’s family is in shock and is very sorry for what happened.

—  Tammye Nash

As LGBT community mourns, Dan Patrick sends judgmental tweet

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A screen shot from Dan Patrick’s Twitter page this morning, Sunday, June 12, shortly before 7 am. The tweet about FWISD, just below the quote from Galatians, was tweeted Friday, June 10

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Dan Patrick

As the details of a mass shooting inside a Florida gay bar continued to unfold Sunday morning, and the LGBT community — indeed, the country — mourned the more than 60 people killed or wounded in what officials are calling an act of terrorism, Texas’ right-wing lieutenant governor continued to prove what as an ass he is by posting a judgmental tweet that seems obviously tied to news of the attack.

“‘Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.’ Galations 6:7.”

The tweet was sent shortly before 7 a.m.

Thanks, Dan Patrick. As the rest of the country responds with shock, grief and sympathy, you have once again embarrased Texas with your hatefulness.

—  Tammye Nash

‘Keep running’

From the Pulse Orlando Facebook page:

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—  Tammye Nash

BREAKING NEWS: At least 20 dead in shooting at Florida gay club

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Screen capture from video posted on CNN.com

In what Orlando police are calling “an act of terrorism,” a man walked into an Orlando gay club around 2 a.m. and started shooting. Authorities are saying at least 20 people are dead and at least 42 people were taken to area hospitals.

Police shot and killed the gunman. They said the man was not from Orlando, but have not publicly identified. He was carrying an assault-type rifle, a handgun and may have had an explosive device with him.

We will update this story throughout the day.

—  Tammye Nash