Survivors of Orlando Shooting Speak Out

The most recent updates on the victims of what’s being called the worst mass shooting in American history comes to 49 fatalities and 53 wounded, according to NYTimes.com. These numbers do not include the shooter, 29-year-old Omar Mateen, who was also killed as a result of the attack on Sunday in Orlando, Fla. Although still under investigation, Mateen’s motives appear to be linked to an allegiance to ISIS, terrorists known for throwing gay people off roofs, and a verbalized hatred of homosexuals that might not match Mateen’s actions. However, officials at the FBI stated that Mateen might have previously gone to Pulse nightclub, the scene of the mass shooting, as well as other gay clubs. Four regular patrons of the nightclub said they think they saw Mateen there in the past. Another Pulse regular, Kevin West, said that he had communicated with Mateen using a gay dating app call Jack’d inconsistently for the past year. When asked if Mateen could have been gay, his first wife did not deny the possibility, stating that she did not know if he were homosexual but he spoke as if he hated gay people. One survivor, Patience Carter, said at a news conference from a local hospital that she heard the shooter say “that the reason why he was doing this was he wanted America to stop bombing his country.” Mateen was born in the United States. Carter overheard the shooter while hiding in a handicapped bathroom stall along with two friends. “The guilt of feeling lucky to be alive is heavy,” said Carter. She had been shot in the legs during the attack and witnessed the death of a friend, according to LATimes.com. About 40 people are still in local hospitals with six in critical condition as of Tuesday, according to Dr. Michael Cheatham of Orlando Regional Medical Center. Dr. Cheatham expressed that he would be surprised if more people did not die. The FBI is investigating whether Mateen’s second wife and widow, Noor Zahi Salman, might have helped plan the shooting. Although originally uncooperative, a law enforcement official said that Salman started communicating with the FBI on Tuesday. It is known that she drove her husband to Pulse, which was located two hours from the couple’s home. According to an official, if Salman had prior knowledge of Mateen’s plans she could be charged with aiding and abetting the attack since she did not warn authorities. When tragedy strikes, nothing can truly ease survivor’s guilt or the pain of losing loved ones. However, although a small comfort, getting one’s affairs in order might reduce stress and anxiety for family members who might not know what to do in the wake of a significant injury or death. Legal document assistants could help in the creation of wills, living trusts, medical directives, powers of attorney, and assignment of personal property. LDAs offer an affordable alternative to attorneys for these and other services conducted at the direction of the client. Visit the website of the California Association of Legal Document Assistants for more information.

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