COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - As you can imagine the LGBT community here in SC, and the nation as a whole, are struggling to comprehend the shooting massacre that happened early Sunday morning in Orlando.
The news sending waves of shock through South Carolina's Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual and Transgender community. Many of which have been to the Pulse nightclub before, including the owner Capital Club, Gary Dollahite, who says he was just there two months ago and is still taking in the news.
On Sunday night, a prayer vigil at the Capital Club where community members extended prayers and condolences to families of those victims involved in this tragedy. We are only two weeks into the National LGBT pride month, which is considered one of the most joyous times of the year.
But now leaders here with South Carolina's pride group are in mourning, in a state of shock and trying to be strong in this weak moment.
"I think it's time that we show unity, it's time that we show a lack of fear. I've said this before that our greatest phobia is the unknown. We never know one day to the next. I think this community is strong enough and powerful enough that fear will not be a factor. I truly believe that, this is a loving, giving, very caring community," said Dollahite.
"Above all else, if this was an act of terror or whatever. It was a hate crime first because it wasn't at Disney World, it was at a gay bar attached to the LGBT community, so you have to recognize it as a hate crime and that is just devastating," expressed Jeff Marsh, the president of South Carolina Pride Movement.
The Capital Club on Gervais street has been in the community for exactly 36 years now, and they say it's a really tight knit community.
Everyone was encouraged to join and pay their respects.