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South Florida LGBTQ community asks for more security after Colorado shooting

Local concerns after Colorado shooting
Local concerns after Colorado shooting 03:14

MIAMI - Even though the arts and entertainment district of Wilton Manors is two thousand miles away from Colorado Springs, the LGBTQ community does not underestimate distance.

"I think even the appearance of more security, just being present, it's going to be helpful to relay some of the anxiety," said Erick Samuels, a resident and customer of the Wilton Manors bars. 

Samuels moved from Boston, but on Monday, in light of the shooting at a gay bar in Coral Springs, he is one of the people asking for more security presence in the more than 20 gay venues that exist in this city, the size of two square miles.

"I would expect more security this thanksgiving holiday weekend, it's scary, you can have copycats," said Samuels referring to the possibility of someone following the steps of the 22-year-old suspect accused of murdering five people and injuring at least 19 more when he entered gay establishment in Colorado Springs.

"The LGBTQ community is still being targeted," said Miguel Fernandez, who works in Wilton Manors, he doesn't mind seeing armed security officers at the entrance of bars.

When CBS4 inquired with the mayor of Wilton Manors, responded in a statement saying, "the Wilton Manors police department has enhanced security throughout the city, including at LGBTQ establishments, for the entire holiday season."

"We have an outstanding police force with 34 sworn officers, so I feel very safe."

Added, recently elected Commissioner Don D'Arminio. When we asked him if more police officers be added... he said security will be enhanced, but he did not want to reveal details.

Meanwhile, other customers like Paul Croes, are thankful for the two patrons who overpowered the gunman in Colorado Springs. They held him down until police arrived.

"I will never stand down for a terrorist," said Croes, originally from Canada. 

When asked if he sees a need for the (gay) community to start acting and reacting when these incidents occur, his response was immediate, "Absolutely, my God, let's try not to be the general population who do not react to gun violence. Let's be the change."

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