Orlando Mass Shooting – A Lawyer’s Perspective

The shooting at a nightclub in Orlando is now deemed the largest mass shooting in US history. Recent reports have said that 50 people are dead and over 53 are wounded. This all started in what has been said by the media to be the hottest gay nightclub in Orlando at around 2:00 A.M. The shooter, Omar Mateen walked in the club with an assault rifle and other weapons and started shooting. A hostage situation ensued and the police decided to swarm the club at 5 AM to try apprehend the shooter. The police then exchanged gunfire with the suspect and he died on the scene. One officer was shot in the head but had a Kevlar helmet that protected him from dying. As any other US shooting, the government is starting to say it was terrorism. However, Mr. Mateen’s father says that it has nothing to do with religion and he strongly believes it has something to do with an earlier dispute with someone who was gay and now Omar Mateen was trying to get revenge. Mateen had firearms licenses that were statewide because of his job as a security guard, which is likely how he legally obtained the guns and the ammunition for the shooting.

At one point right after this started club goers ran into the bathrooms and started texting loved ones. Some of the text messages are making the rounds across the Internet and it was very sad and scary to see the kinds of things these people were talking about.

Terrorism or a Hate Crime

At this point police and government officials are doing everything they can to figure out whether this was terrorism or a hate crime. Unfortunately the craze in the US in any type of situation like this is to always blame terrorism. It’s our immediate reaction these days because it is the easy way out. It makes us not have to confront the problems in our society and the problems that people are going through to be able to commit these crimes and just blame another group of people who we believe are responsible for this. Although there have been a lot of terrorism attacks in the US in the last couple of years, we need to remember to not always jump to conclusions. Omar Marteen’s father has noted that he believes this is a hate crime and has nothing to do with religion, which could be quite a reliable source. However, the police do need to be careful with what he has told him because there is always the possibility that if it is terrorism then he could be part of it and a potential suspect trying to cover up what his son has done. It just does not make sense though having this at an all-gay nightclub. That seems very indicative of a hate crime.

Investigating a Shooting

Investigations of mass shootings can take a very long time. There are a lot of different leads that need to be sought out and a lot of information that needs to be processed. Sometimes, officers will interview innocent people and start to accuse them of wrongdoing. In San Diego, when the police are investigating a shooting they often put a lot of pressure on people to talk, sometimes innocent individuals and they sometimes even charge them with a crime just to try and get information out of them. If you ever find yourself where you are innocent and getting pressure from the police, make sure you have a strong criminal defense attorney in your corner who can protect your rights, and call Ozols Law Firm today at 619 288 8357.