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WORST MASS SHOOTING IN U.S. HISTORY: 50 people confirmed dead in shooting at Orlando gay club as gunman identified as Islamic extremist

June 12, 2016  |  Posted by: JammedUp Staff
WORST MASS SHOOTING IN U.S. HISTORY: 50 people confirmed dead in shooting at Orlando gay club as gunman identified as Islamic extremist

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Gunfire erupted inside of a gay nightclub in Orlando in the early morning hours on Sunday, where at least 50 people are dead and approximately 53 people wounded. The attack is believed to be the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history.

Law enforcement officials in Orlando said that the deadly attack that occurred at Pulse nightclub, a popular gay nightclub, was deemed an act of terrorism. Police had initially believed that 20 people were killed before confirming that the death toll was significantly higher.

After a shootout between law-enforcement officers and the gunman, the suspect was eventually killed. It is currently not evident whether the death toll includes the shooter.

According to the Washington Post, Police have identified the gunman as Omar Mateen, a 29-year-old from Fort Pierce, Florida.

Buddy Dyer, mayor of Orlando, has officially declared a state of emergency for the city and has called upon the governor to issue the same order for the state.

Police have yet to identify a possible motive. Reports indicate that Mateen may have been a U.S. citizen born to Afghan parents.

A relative said that Mateen’s family is in complete shock after being informed of the man’s involvement in the attack. The relative said that his family is very apologetic about what happened.

John Mina, Orlando Police Chief said, “It appears he was organized and well-prepared.”

Approximately 42 people were transported to the hospital, including one police officer who was injured.

Jerry Demings, Orange County Sheriff, said at a news conference that the incident is certainly being classified as a domestic terror attack. Authorities have also confirmed that the FBI is involved in the investigation.

Mayor Dyer said in a statement, “We had a crime that will have a lasting effect on our community,”

“We need to stand strong; we need to be supportive of the victims and their families,” he said.

Law enforcement officials have also announced that they discovered a handgun and an assault-type rifle at the scene. One source reported that Mateen was known to authorities; however he was not currently under investigation.

President Obama was briefed on the incident on early Sunday.

The White House said in a statement: “Our thoughts and prayers are with the families and loved ones of the victims. The President asked to receive regular updates as the FBI, and other federal officials, work with the Orlando Police to gather more information, and directed that the federal government provide any assistance necessary to pursue the investigation and support the community.”

During the altercation between police and the gunman, a police officer was shot but luckily was saved by his helmet.

The incident began around 2 a.m. Pulse nightclub posted an urgent status on their Facebook page that said: “Everyone get out of pulse and keep running.”

Minutes after the shooting began, a SWAT team along with police vehicles flooded the club, which reportedly had more than 300 people inside.

Ricardo J. Negron posted on Pulse’s Facebook page and said, “I was there. Shooter opened fire @ around 2:00 am. People on the dance floor and bar got down on the floor and some of us who were near the bar, and back exit managed to go out through the outdoor area and just ran. I am safely home and hoping everyone gets home safely as well.”

A cop working at the nightclub exchanged shots with the gunman, according to authorities. Then, the incident developed into a hostage-type situation.

Officials also said that the man was carrying a “suspicious device” in addition to his firearms.

Approximately three hours after initial gunfire, the SWAT team launched a rescue operation, and the gunman was subsequently killed.

Mina said, “The decision was made to rescue hostages that were in there.”

Police have also reported that they heard a sound at the club that was a “controlled explosion.”

John Alamo informed the AP that he was at the back of the club when the gunman appeared at the front. He said that he heard between 20-50 shots and the music stopped.

Rob Rick told the AP that he believed more than 100 people were inside the club when the shooting began, he dropped to the ground and crawled toward the DJ booth. He said that some people escaped after a bouncer knocked down a partition between the club area and a restricted area that lead to an exit.

Mina Justice reported to the AP that her son texted her when the gunfire erupted and told her to call the police. Her son, Eddie, reportedly ran into a bathroom to hide and texted her, “He’s coming.”

“The next text said: ‘He has us, and he’s in here with us,’” Justice said. “That was the last conversation.”

The brutal attack that has devastated the nation follows the fatal shooting of pop singer Christina Grimmie on Friday night.

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