Pulse Nightclub: Mass Shooting Tests Teen’s Courage

Pulse Nightclub: Mass Shooting Tests Teen’s Courage

Matt Casler didn’t recognize his neighborhood as he drove home last Sunday morning.

 

Cop cars lined every corner. Barricades blocked the streets. Sirens screamed.

 

A few hours after the deadliest shooting in U.S. history, it had been turned into a war zone.

 

He steered past armed troopers, beneath hovering helicopters. Dizzy and disoriented, the 18-year-old kept checking his phone: 20 dead so far, and the count would climb.

 

Pulse nightclub is on a residential road two blocks east of Matt’s home, far from the Disney castles and downtown skyscrapers, surrounded by townhomes and chain stores: Starbucks, Chipotle, Pizza Hut.

 

Normally, the neighborhood is quiet.

 

Now his hometown would be on that list, ahead of Columbine, Aurora, Sandy Hook. How could that happen? Just because they were gay?