Texoma Reacts to the Orlando Shootings

Texoma Reacts to the Orlando Shootings

WICHITA FALLS, TX (KAUZ) - Many Texomans are paying respect to those who lost their lives in the Orlando shootings and showing support for their families.
In Wichita Falls, a memorial was set up at Devoe's Bar, where an LGBT Pride Flag is hanging high.

On the flag, many have signed their names, and one person wrote "Never Forget."

Underneath the flag are flowers, a teddy bear, and candles.
The Metropolitan Community Church of Wichita Falls Pastor, Mel Martinez, said this is exactly what needs to be done.
     "In simplest terms, we've lost family, and so the LGBT community at large, which is quite a lot of communities actually all melded together, we are going to need to take a little time to grieve. In grieving, we feel the sadness. We need to go through our anger, and we need to be supportive of one another.  We need to be out there supporting one another," said Pastor Martinez.
Pastor Martinez said she was stunned after hearing news of the shooting.

She adds, this incident is not just heart breaking for the LGBT community, but the entire community.
Martinez believes fearlessness and compassion is key.
     "We want to help this community be one, in which anyone, from any background, from any group that might be considered marginalized to know that they have a place in Wichita Falls," said Martinez.
During Sunday's service, Pastor Martinez and her church members talked about the deadly shooting and offered prayers for those who have lost their lives and their families.

They also prayed for the man who committed this act, along with his family.
Douglas Murphy, the owner of Devoe's Bar, recalls the moments he heard the news.  

     "You can't describe the feeling you have, when you know that was somebody's daughter, son, brother, mom. He had no right to take their lives," said Murphy.
Murphy said those who visit his bar come from all walks of life, and he believes they will get through this together.  
     "I think it'll rally us together closer. I think it'll make us closer as a community. I think it'll make the LGBT world a closer community," said Murphy.
Many Texomans agree and said they hope to see people standing beside each other and not letting diversity tear them apart.
Pastor Martinez said it is time to put our differences aside because there is power in numbers.
The Metropolitan Community Church of Wichita Falls is holding a vigil Tuesday night at 6:30 p.m. at Lucy Park to honor the lives lost.

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