A prayer for Orlando

Jason Hawk | Amherst News-Times

A day after 49 people were killed and 52 others were wounded in a Florida gay night club shooting spree, a somber city council chaplain Jennifer Wasilk prayed Monday for the families of the victims. She called the tragedy a “reprehensible act of terrorism” at the opening of a city council session. Wasilk’s prayer acknowledged that “each of us could easily be targeted and identified as ‘other,’” speaking to the homophobic prejudices that drove 29-year-old gunman Omar Mateen to open fire at the popular night spot Pulse. Mateen, who was killed in a firefight with police, called 911 during the shooting to pledge his allegiance to the Islamic State and called himself “a soldier.” The FBI said he had been investigated for prior comments involving Jihadism. Mateen was a Florida security guard and held a state firearms license.