Pulse survivors are speaking up about Friday's Noor Salman verdict.
- Pulse survivors express sadness, anger over Salman verdict
- Survivors say they wanted justice, closure after shooting
“You would have to bleep out everything I say, right?” said India Godman, a survivor of the tragedy.
All day long, survivors, families of victims and members of the community have gathered in front of the Pulse nightclub. A lot of sadness and even some anger was felt outside the night club.
“There’s no closure. There’s really no closure at all,” Godman said.
As the day went by, more and more faces showed up outside the Pulse night club. So many were in shock after hearing Noor Salmon is now a free woman.
“I was there, along with everybody else that unfortunately didn’t make it, and those that got injured and those that fortunately escaped with no injuries. We were there, we know what we saw. We knew who (we've) seen,” Godman said.
Many wanted justice for the 49 lives lost the night of the Pulse tragedy and for the survivors who will never forget what they went through.
“We live this every day, just because you guys do your job, and it goes away, it doesn’t go away for us. We live it every day, every time we lock our cars, every time we look out the window,” said Passion Suarez, another survivor that showed up to the Pulse site.
Folks from out of town also stopped by, Pulse having such a huge impact in their lives.
“This was my first, you know, time stepping out as me, in the LGBTQ community, so I really have to show respect,” explained Will Hilton, who was in Orlando dropping off his mom at the airport. He’s originally from Jacksonville.
Others, are taking it into their own hands to promote change.
“Stop the hate, (because) it’s just killing each other. We’re Americans, we should all be defending each other, and not killing one another,” said Christy Nelson, visiting from North Carolina. She had spent a week with her wife and son and couldn’t go back home without visiting Pulse.
Now its time to continue healing and not forget.
“This our moving forward. This is how we do it, just helping each other, helping the community get somewhat normal,” Suarez said.
Statements from other survivors, community leaders
We received statements from other survivors and community leaders Friday.
Christine Leinonen, whose son was killed in the June 2016 attack, issued this statement:
"I'm really disappointed that justice wasn't served today. But I understand that the evidence just didn't reach the level that the jury felt they needed to convict. I didn't put much thought into the killer's wife anyway and have always chosen to invest my energies into the Dru Project and supporting LGBTQ teens. That and trying to change the gun laws."
Brandon Wolf, who survived the attack but lost his best friend, tweeted this message:
Noor Salman does not define justice for the 49. We do. In our fight to protect other communities from feeling our pain. In our commitment to creating a better, safer world for our children. In our refusal to accept the corrupt status quo.— Brandon Wolf (@bjoewolf) March 30, 2018
Stay strong, Orlando. We are justice.
We received this statement from Omar Delgado, another survivor of the attack:
And this statement from Barbara Poma, the owner of Pulse and the founder of the One Pulse Foundation: