ORLANDO, Fla. (KABC) --Thousands mourned the loss of 49 victims gunned down in a gay Orlando nightclub early Sunday morning.
Authorities said 29-year-old Omar Mateen entered the Pulse nightclub heavily armed and opened fire, killing 49 people and injuring 53 others.
MORE: Orlando shooter spotted at gay club several times, Pulse regular says
The day after the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history, thousands gathered for a moment of silence in Orlando.
Several in attendance could be seen crying, hugging and leaning on one another for emotional support during the vigil as the city of Orlando attempts to heal.
"Just pain, a lot of pain, and sadness. You don't think something like this is going to happen here," vigil attender Andrew Chang said. "Orlando is a place of love."
Those speaking at the event spoke of unity and tolerance, and Muslim leaders condemned the terrorist attack.
MORE: Victims of the Pulse Nightclub shooting in Orlando
Employees from Pulse appeared on stage to thunderous applauds.
MORE - Orlando mass shooting survivor: 'It's a living nightmare'
"We will not be defeated," exclaimed one employee with his fist raised.
The names of all 49 shooting victims were read aloud which was followed by a bell ringing. The bell rang once for every victim.