ORLANDO, Fla. – Accounts from people who've visited Pulse Orlando began pouring in Sunday morning after news broke of a mass shooting at the nightclub that left 50 people dead and 53 others injured.
Channel 4 reporter Ashley Harding was born and raised in Orlando, graduated from the University of Central Florida and has visited the club several times.
If there is one thing I will say about Pulse Orlando, it is an establishment aimed to promote joy and fun entertainment. I had the pleasure of going there several times over the years when I lived in Orlando. My experience was the same every time. I was always treated with respect. If I ever needed anything, the employees went out of their way to help. Not to be overlooked, I do recall security being topnotch. The guards made their rounds regularly to each of the three rooms and outdoor area. If someone or something of concerned appeared to be happening, they were quick to react. Never once did I ever feel unsafe or concerned that something of this magnitude could occur. I cannot say that about other clubs I've gone to in the greater Orlando area. To hear that an establishment of this type would be a target for violence and hatred is both shocking and heartbreaking.
More than 300 people were inside the club early Sunday morning when a shooter opened fire. Authorities are investigating this as an act of domestic terrorism.