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Gov. Scott Requests Federal Emergency Declaration in Wake of Orlando Massacre

| June 13, 2016

orlando vigils

One of many vigils around the world held in response to the Orlando massacre, this one in Wellington, New Zealand, in an image released by the U.S. Embassy there.

Calling the massacre at an Orlando nightclub “an attack on our state and entire nation,” Gov. Rick Scott early Monday asked President Barack Obama for a federal emergency declaration in Florida.

Scott’s requested the declaration under a federal law known as the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, which can help provide federal aid to states after disasters.

“During a June 12, 2016 press conference, you accurately characterized the terrorist attack as a ‘horrific massacre,’ ” Scott wrote in the request to Obama. “I urge you to declare an emergency under the Stafford Act so that ‘the full resources of the federal government’ can be made for the individuals, families and communities impacted by this ‘horrific massacre.’ ”

Scott’s request came a little more than 24 hours after lone gunman Omar Mateen, 29, went to the Pulse gay nightclub in Orlando and committed the worst mass shooting in U.S. history. Fifty people died and 53 people were wounded in the incident, which Obama, Scott and other authorities said was an act of terrorism.

Mateen, who died in a shootout with police, pledged allegiance to the Islamic State terrorism group during the incident. Authorities said during a news conference Monday morning that 48 of 49 of the victims had been identified and that the process of notifying families was ongoing. Mateen’s death brought the total to 50.

Scott on Sunday declared a state of emergency in Orange County. In his request Monday to Obama, Scott issued an accompanying statement that said he had been “in contact with some of the victims’ families to let them know we are grieving with them and will be there for them every step of the way.”

“Our state is mourning, but the Orlando community is strong,” Scott said in the statement. “We are all coming together, and we will get through this together. I ask every American to continue to pray for our state and nation and all those affected by this terror attack.”

During the news conference Monday morning, Orlando police provided more details about the attack, and federal, state and local officials said they were continuing the investigation and trying to help victims and families. Police described three confrontations with Mateen before he was shot dead. The first took place around 2 a.m. when an off-duty law enforcement officer providing security at the club responded to reports of shots fired, and called for back-up. The second took place as a group of officers entered the club, where Mateen retreated to a bathroom with a group of hostages. The third took place after police drilled a hole through the club’s wall with a Bearcat.

The killing inside the club and, judging from two bodies found outside the club, had been methodical, witnesses told police and reporters. “The bloodshed ended only after a daring rescue operation by the police, in which they burst into a room in the club and freed 15 to 25 people before confronting the gunman and freeing another group being held hostage,” The New York Times reported.

On Sunday, Obama made a nationally televised address about the attack, which he described as an “especially heartbreaking day for all of our friends — our fellow Americans — who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender.”

“The shooter targeted a nightclub where people came together to be with friends, to dance and to sing, and to live,” Obama said. “The place where they were attacked is more than a nightclub — it is a place of solidarity and empowerment where people have come together to raise awareness, to speak their minds and to advocate for their civil rights.”

–Jim Saunders, News Service of Florida, and FlaglerLive

Gov. Rick Scott’s Letter Requesting a Federal Emergency Declaration.

8 Responses for “Gov. Scott Requests Federal Emergency Declaration in Wake of Orlando Massacre”

  1. Edman says:

    Isn’t it funny how government officials hate “big government” until they think they can get some money for their coffers. Scott is a Tea Party hack who will scam anyone he can.

  2. Governor Rick Scott has failed to recogonize a HATE crime says:

    It is sad that Florida has experienced such a HATE crime and that Florida’s Governor has called it a “terrorist” attack and called for a State of Emergency. This is an isolated incident and it has not been proven to be a terrorist attack or anything to do with ISIS. Saying that it is terrorist attack when it is not is very mean and misleading to the people of the world, placing false fears upon people! Don’t call events what they are not! It is obvious the people of Orlando and thoughout the county are helping the victims and their families and are able to provide what is needed during this tragic event. The Go Fund Me account has raised over a million dollars in one day. There is no reason to call for a State of Emergency. There is no need for services above and beyond what is available and being provided by the people of the state and throughout the country. Shame on you Governor Rick Scott for calling for a state of emergency and placing false fears upon us! Hate crimes as this are unfortunate and never should be comingled with terrorism and ISIS. My thoughts and prayers go out to all those affected. I am also saddened that the doctors and nurses and medical professionals have not been given a mention of credit for saving lives. All the credit seems to have gone towards law enforcement, and no mention has been given as to how many deaths law enforcement may have cause for 11 officers to have fired their weapons! Had persons in the club had a carry permit and been armed they could have have taken out this murderer instantly and too spared loss of life. This is why we need to be armed and not disarmed!

  3. Donald Trump's Tiny Fingers says:

    Yeah, the second page explains why he wants this. It’s not enough to steal medicare funds while he’s a CEO, now we wants money from the feds for this as well.

  4. Patriot says:

    Well, we see the left blaming guns for this tragedy rather than calling it RADICAL ISLAM. Their mantra, “Don’t blame all Muslims for the act of one.” Okay, so, with that, how about we not blame all guns, for the act of one nut job? (Heads exploding)

  5. Nancy N. says:

    So everything is just hunky dory because Equality Florida raised a million dollars for the victims. No need for help here! Are you all serious? You obviously have NO idea about the costs and resources necessary to deal with an incident like this!!!

    Do you think all of those extra police officers called to duty yesterday worked for free? Do you know how many hours of overtime are being clocked by local law enforcement trying to deal with this? What about the crime scene techs, the medical examiners, and their expenses to operate – supplies, materials, etc? What about all the extra security needed for the hospital and memorial events? Investigative costs? Costs for mental health crisis care for the people who had to walk into that carnage and clean it up?

    Not to mention that a disaster declaration gives the governor power to call on in-kind resources (like Federal investigative tools) with less red tape than would normally be necessary to access them.

    Do you I need to go on or have you geniuses gotten the picture now? Look, I hate Rick Scott as much as anyone, but that doesn’t mean he’s wrong 100% of the time. I just wish it didn’t take 50 people dying for him to do something right for a change.

  6. Donald Trump's Tiny Fingers says:

    Don’t blame guns, blame terrible gun laws that allow people like this to get them

  7. DaveT says:

    Don’t worry Obama will be in Orlando Thursday and everything will be ok.

  8. Anonymous says:

    The problem isn’t one man with a gun; it’s the 103 people without one.

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