'We are with you:' Central Florida residents stand with Muslim neighbors

Muslim Community Center adds security; healing circle Saturday at Lake Eola

By Emilee Speck - Digital journalist

A group holds signs outside the American Muslim Community Center in Longwood a day after 49 people were killed and dozens were injured in a shooting in New Zealand at two mosques. (Image: AMCC)

The American Muslim Community Center in Longwood serves the same community affected this week by two tragedies: On Wednesday, a Lake Mary High School student killed herself on campus, and two days later, 49 people were fatally gunned down at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand.

Seminole County residents stood in solidarity with their Muslim neighbors Saturday, holding signs of love and compassion.

"Muslims are our brothers and sisters," read one, and another said "We are with you."

The community center added security Friday in the wake of the terrorism in New Zealand.

"We have further beefed up security at the center, and we would like to thank Longwood Police and the Seminole County Sheriff's Office for their continued support and their hard work," the AMCC said in a news release.

In Orlando, organizers are planning a vigil Saturday evening at Lake Eola Park. Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer, police Chief Orlando Rolon and religious leaders are expected to speak at the event. Click here for details.

In New Zealand, with the main shooting suspect in custody, authorities are turning their focus to the victims and the families of those killed.

Makeshift memorials have sprung up in the area around the Christchurch mosques, with flowers and notes bearing messages of hope and love.

"Our other key priority is making sure that those people so horribly affected by these events get the support and welfare that they need," the New Zealand Police said in a statement.

Of 48 people injured, 39 remain in the hospital and 11 are in intensive care, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said.

People from over 15 nationalities were killed, according to a list compiled by the Red Cross. Some were from Pakistan, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Bangladesh, Indonesia and Malaysia, Ardern said.

One of the victims, Afghan-born Haji Daoud Nabi, sought asylum in New Zealand in 1977.

CNN contributed to this report.

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