ORLANDO, Fla. - Dozens of people gathered outside Orlando's Pulse nightclub at 2:02 a.m. Wednesday, exactly three years to the moment that the first shot rang out, beginning what – at the time – became the deadliest mass shooting in modern history.
Hours later, before sunset and under the glow of a rainbow, 1,500 people again gathered outside the club for a public remembrance ceremony.
June 12 marked the third anniversary of the Pulse nightclub shooting that killed 49 people, physically wounded 53 and traumatized hundreds more.
Survivors said even though three years have passed, the pain from that tragic night is still very present.
"Many of the friends and family are here reporting to the loved ones we've lost and for the survivors too, many of them are still going through surgery, unfortunately," Pulse survivor Orlando Torres said.
Events were planned all day remembering the victims and survivors of the attack, from blood drives to bell tolls for each victim.
WATCH LIVE: Bells toll for 49 Pulse victims
Well before the sun rose Wednesday morning, a steady stream of people made their way to the Pulse memorial sharing a moment of silence together just after 2 a.m.
"We are always going to be supporting our survivors," said Jim McDermott, who lost a friend in the shooting. "That's what we are here to do. We are here to make sure that it’s not just about a memorial. The true legacy of Pulse are the people that have come together to unite together and to protect Orlando."
Some survivors said they are still working on their recovery whether it be mental wounds or physical.
"There's one friend I know who still has a bullet near his spine, waiting for it to shift so, it's an ongoing thing," Torres said.
Torres said coming together to remember is important.
"We have love and I’m sure if the whole world was close by they'd be here, too," he said.
Before he spoke at the evening ceremony, Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer reached up and pointed to the sky where a rainbow arched overhead.
"It would not be a Pulse remembrance ceremony if we didn't have a rainbow," he said.
Maybe some will say, “it’s just June in Florida...”But those of us at #Pulse right now... we know. ❤️ 🌈 #LoveWins onePULSE Foundation WFTVCity of OrlandoPosted by Nancy Alvarez, WFTV on Wednesday, June 12, 2019
Days after his release from the New England Patriots, Antonio Brown has reportedly enrolled back in school. MLive.com reported that, according to a Monday post on Brown's Instagram story, he's taking four classes at his alma mater. >> Read more trending news 'Antonio Brown is currently enrolled in online degree completion coursework at Central Michigan University,' Heather Smith, a school spokeswoman, told MLive.com. 'He does not attend classes on a CMU campus.' According to the image Brown posted on social media, he appears to be taking an introduction to management class, a class on technical writing, a sociology class on racism and inequality and a religion course in death and dying. ESPN reported Brown played football at Central Michigan from 2007 to 2009. In 2010, he was a sixth-round pick by the Pittsburgh Steelers. Brown was released from the Patriots after 11 days on the team. He is facing multiple lawsuits in which he is accused of sexual assault and rape. Brown said he was 'done with the NFL' after he was dropped by the Pats.
If you believe cats are antisocial, think again. The animals can develop bonds with their caregivers just like children, according to a new report. >> Read more trending news Researchers from Oregon State University recently conducted a study, published in the Current Biology journal, to explore the attachment bonds between cats and humans. To do so, they observed more than 100 cats and kittens that underwent a “secure base test,” an examination often given to infants and dogs to assess their attachment behaviors. During the test, the cats spent two minutes in a new room with their caregiver before being separated from their owner for two minutes and then reunited with them for another two minutes. After analyzing the data, they found cats with a secure attachment seemed less stressed during their reunion, compared to cats with an insecure attachment. They said cats with a secure attachment were more likely to balance their attention between their caregiver and surroundings. For example, they continued to explore the room while also interacting with their owner. On the other hand, insecure cats showed more signs of stress by twitching their tail or licking their lips. They would also either avoid the person completely or cling to them by jumping on their lap but not moving. “In both dogs and cats, attachment to humans may represent an adaptation of the offspring-caretaker bond,” co-author Kristyn Vitale said in a statement. “Attachment is a biologically relevant behavior. Our study indicates that when cats live in a state of dependency with a human, that attachment behavior is flexible and the majority of cats use humans as a source of comfort.” Overall, they said 64.3% of the animals were categorized as securely attached, while 35.7% of them were insecurely attached. The percentages remained relatively the same even when the team put the cats through a six-week training course. The goal was to determine whether socialization coaching would significantly alter their initial results. “Once an attachment style has been established between the cat and its caregiver, it appears to remain relatively stable over time, even after a training and socialization intervention,” Vitale said. The scientists said they were surprised by their findings and noted this is the first study to prove cats can display attachment styles that are similar to dogs and babies. “Cats that are insecure can be likely to run and hide or seem to act aloof,” Vitale said. “There’s long been a biased way of thinking that all cats behave this way. But the majority of cats use their owner as a source of security. Your cat is depending on you to feel secure when they are stressed out.”
A Missouri couple were horrified to learn their house had once been a methamphetamine lab after discovering their unborn child had tested positive for amphetamines. >> Read more trending news Elisha Hessel and her husband, Tyler Hessel, had been trying to have a child for three years, WFAA reported. The couple were elated to learn Elisha was pregnant, but when she went for her recommended blood tests she was in for a shock: the unborn baby had tested positive. 'When they called me, I didn't know what that meant. So I asked the nurse if that meant like, drugs in general,” Elisha Hessel told WAND-TV. “She basically just said 'Yes,' and asked me if I could explain that.' Neither one of the Hessels had taken amphetamines, so after researching several scenarios, they decided to have their house tested for traces of the drugs, CBS News reported. Thinking back, they recalled some hints the neighbors had made about the home. 'Just through normal conversations as we got to know them a little better they said they were so happy to finally have 'normal' people move in next door,' Elisha Hessel told CBS News. 'They had also mentioned that the police were there for a possible drug bust type situation.' The tests showed the home's ventilator system was heavily contaminated with meth and residue used to make the drug, WFAA reported. Most states, including Missouri, require home sellers to disclose any material defects in their property to prospective buyers, according to Nolo Press, a database of legal articles. The state of Missouri specifically requires sellers to disclose if their property was used to produce meth, CBS News reported. However, state and county law does not have a penalty for anyone who fails to disclose a home’s meth contamination to a buyer or who doesn’t clean a property, WFAA reported. The Hessels said they were never told. After digging through records in Jefferson County for meth seizures, Elisha Hessel told CBS News she found her property listed in the database. On Oct. 3, 2013, authorities in Jefferson County responded to a tip at the home about a possible meth lab, WFAA reported. According to a police report, authorities found a burned barrel in the backyard when they apprehended a man at the residence, the television station reported. The barrel was full of empty allergy pillboxes, empty drain opener and camp fuel bottles and other supplies often used to make meth, according to the report. “When you look at the numbers, Jefferson County led the St Louis region, the state and the nation in meth lab seizures,” Jefferson County Undersheriff Timothy Whitney told WFAA. “We could have looked the other way, but as an agency, we decided to go headlong at the problem.” “There wasn't evidence that day at that time to suggest that distribution or manufacturing was going on,” Whitney told the television station In 2016, the house became the property of a bank, then it was sold to another buyer before the Hessels bought the property, WFAA reported. The Hessels have abandoned the house and have moved in with Elisha Hessel's mother, WAND reported. 'We have moved out and really do not know exactly what to do at this point,' Elisha Hessel told CBS News. She said the insurance company denied their claim, and their attorney says the best option is to pursue the insurance company to cover the remediation of the home. That will be expensive. The Hessels said they got an estimate of approximately $100,000 -- what the house is worth -- to clean it up. While Elisha Hessel said her blood tests have been clean lately, the baby will be tested again when she is born in January, WFAA reported. If the child's amphetamine levels are detected that day, the Children's Division of the Department of Social Services will get involved, the television station reported. “Everybody wants to have their own home when they bring their baby home,” Elisha Hessel told WFAA. “A lot of it's the disappointment and being upset over it, but I have definitely been angry over it as well.” Relatives of the Hessels have set up a GoFundMe page to cover the cost of cleaning up the house.
Four baby squirrels will survive but may be scarred after someone tied their tails together. The incident is being called a case of animal abuse, The Associated Press reported. The Kensington Bird and Animal Hospital in Berlin, Connecticut, said someone brought in the squirrels when they were found on train tracks. >> Read more trending news The animals' tails had been tied together intentionally, but hospital employees do admit that tail knotting can happen naturally, according to the AP. In this case, it was a man-made object that kept the animals bound and their tails were broken and braided together. The squirrels, according to hospital employees, were 'tangled, braided, and purposefully tied together,' the AP reported. Officials also say since the animals were found on train tracks, that could be an indicator of animal cruelty. As for the squirrels themselves, the tails may have to be amputated because of the damage done to them.
Authorities in California on Monday canceled an Amber Alert issued over the weekend for a 2-year-old boy in Merced County. >> Read more trending news Officials with the Merced County Sheriff's Office said John Weir, 2, was last seen Friday with his father, Steven Weir, and that the pair might be headed for Tuolumne or Calveras County. Update 2:55 p.m. EDT Sept. 23: Authorities with the California HIghway Patrol said an Amber Alert issued over the weekend for a 2-year-old boy had been deactivated. Authorities did not immediately provide information on why the alert had been canceled. Original report: Authorities are searching for a missing 2-year-old boy who may be with his 'armed and dangerous' father, the California Highway Patrol and Merced County Sheriff's Office said in an Amber Alert released Saturday. According to KTLA, police believe Steven Weir, 32, abducted John Weir from Merced County, where they were last spotted Friday evening. The pair 'could possibly be heading to the Tuolumne or Calaveras County areas,' the Sheriff's Office said in a Facebook post. Authorities described John Weir as a blond-haired, blue-eyed boy who was last seen wearing a blue T-shirt with tan shorts. Steven Weir, who is 5-foot-10 and weighs 300 pounds, has brown hair and eyes, the Amber Alert said. He was wearing a blue T-shirt with cargo shorts and may be traveling in a red 2005 Hyundai Elantra with California tag 5SKT544, police said. Authorities are urging anyone who sees the Weirs or their vehicle to call 911. Read more here or here.
He's lived almost 100 years and he's a member of the so-called Greatest Generation', having fought in World War II. Now James South is asking for one thing to make his milestone birthday next month more than just another birthday. South went to Facebook with a simple request, for complete strangers to send him a birthday card -- 100 of them in fact, CNN reported. He came from a family of sharecroppers. He joined the Army in 1940 and was sent to Normandy a week after D-Day, his son told CNN. Every day during his years of service, his girlfriend Sophie sent him a letter. Sophie became his wife and they spent 55 years together. She died in 2001. When he was 65, South retired but stayed active woodworking, gardening, golfing and attending church. He finally moved into Brookdale Senior Living in the Fort Worth suburb of Watauga, Texas, at the age of 98, CNN reported. >> Read more trending news His only child, Jim South, said there are big things planned for his dad's big day including a three-day celebration this year, including a round of golf, dinner of chicken fried steak and catfish and spending time with family. If you want to help mark the occasion, you can send a card that will be hung on the wall in his room. The address is: James South 5800 North Park Drive Watauga, Texas 76148.