Seattle police, nightclubs beefing up security after Orlando attack

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

SEATTLE -- Tens of thousands are expected to come to Seattle to celebrate Pridefest at the end of June.

In the wake of the deadly shooting in Orlando, Seattle Police promise to beef up patrols – and some nightclubs are now preparing for the unthinkable.

One nightclub, once targeted by an arsonist, plans to train their security staff on how to respond to a mass shooting.

Meanwhile, Seattle’s LGBTQ community continues to struggle with last weekend’s violence.

“I was in the office and needed a walk just to clear my head,” said Jordan Olels.

Olels said he felt compelled to pay his respects to the dozens gunned down at a gay bar in Orlando.

The candles were still burning at Cal Anderson Park – the messages of love and support still resonated after Sunday’s peace vigil.

Olels said what happened in Florida won’t keep him away from Seattle Pridefest.

“I’m going to be at the parade, at the festivities,” said Olels. “Who knows, maybe somebody’s going to come up with a bomb and blow up another 100 people. That’s not going to stop me. It’s not going to stop me from being true to myself.”

Pridefest directors said they are working with Seattle Police to keep the tens of thousands of people who come to Seattle to celebrate pride safe.

“I have a feeling that people are going to come out in force to show that we’re not going to be scared,” said Egan Orion, executive director of Seattle Pridefest 2016.

“This year in particular we’re going to make sure we have extra security,” said Shaun Knittel with Neighbours Nightclub.

Security is a top priority for Neighbours because in 2014 a man tried to set a fire in a back staircase during a packed New Year's Eve party.

Nobody got hurt and the arsonist is now behind bars.

But after the Orlando attack Neighbours plans to train its security guards on how to defend against an active shooter.

“It will be in conjunction with SPD and other law enforcement,” said Knittel.

While the Seattle LGBTQ community comes to grips with Saturday night’s attack, Olels said he feels compelled to celebrate his pride to combat intolerance and hatred.

“Well, if you don’t, then nothing is ever going to improve,” he said, “Then those 50 people were lost in vain.”

Knittel said their active-shooter training session should happen sometime next week before Pridefest. He added that other nightclub security teams are welcome to join.


Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.