On Saturday, September 17, 2016, an explosive device was detonated in Chelsea on West 23rd Street near 7th Avenue. Another, unexploded device was found hours later just a few blocks away. Twenty-nine people were injured, none with life-threatening wounds, and no one was killed. The NYPD and the FBI are investigating the incident.
What I learned over the course of Saturday and through Sunday is that several GOAL members--all of whom are safe and unharmed--were in the vicinity of the explosion. We are grateful they left the area unscathed.
Beyond GOAL, easily hundreds of members of our LGBTQ community were in the neighborhood at the time of the blast. Thankfully, any who may have been hospitalized have been released without life-threatening injuries based on public reports today on hospital admissions and discharges.
GOAL is lucky, and our community and City are fortunate.
As members of both law enforcement and the LGBTQ community, we are here to help. We will act as conduits of information between anyone who needs the ear of law enforcement, and law enforcement if it should want information passed along to any part of the community. While there is no indication the LGBTQ community was at all targeted, Chelsea is one of our homes, and we are here to be useful however possible whenever our home, our City, faces violence and disregard for life.
Should any of you need anything, especially in connection with Saturday's events, all of us on the Board and in the organization are here for you and each other. Call, text or e-mail at anytime. No concern or issue is too small.
As always, be aware and be safe.
Brian E. Downey