Fifty people were shot and killed inside Pulse, a gay nightclub located in Orlando, Florida, according to CNN, and at least another 53 people were injured. It is officially the deadliest mass shooting in the history of the United States.
Orlando Police Chief John Mina has noted that the attack was “organized and well prepared.”
Orlando authorities are considering the act as a form of domestic terrorism, according to CNN. Currently, the FBI is involved, and investigators are still combing through the area and inside of the nightclub for evidence. Investigators noted that Omar Mateen, the lone person who carried out the attack, may have have had “leanings towards Islamic terrorism.”
NBC notes, however, that Mateen’s father states the attack had “nothing to do with religion.”
Hostage Situation At Pulse
The shooting began around 2 a.m. local time, and an officer who was working in the venue quickly responded to Mateen, engaging in a shootout.
Mateen then went inside of the club, and turned the site into a hostage situation. More police arrived immediately after Mateen entered the nightclub, with several officers rushing in, and breaking down a door with an armored vehicle.
Shortly after successfully releasing more than 30 club-goers, officers shot and killed Mateen.
A few miles from the gay nightclub, the Orlando Regional Medical Center was placed on lockdown, with only essential staff members gaining access into the building. Inquiring family members who were looking for their loved ones were instructed to go to the medical center’s north tower.
Who Is Omar Mateen?
The alleged mass murderer in the Orlando nightclub is 29-year-old Omar Mateen. Mateen holds a Florida security officer license, and a license to operate state firearms. Mateen is an American, the son of migrant parents from Afghanistan.
Authorities note the potential of Mateen having ties to radical Islam, as the attack appears orchestrated to specifically attack gay people. It is not known if Mateen was a lone wolf or was part of an organized attack.
Mateen’s father has said that what his son did has “nothing to do with religion.” His father stated that Mateen got angry after he saw two men kissing a few months ago in the Miami area. This might’ve triggered his decision to kill.
The following video press release on the Orlando mass shooting contains graphic material, and is potentially sensitive for younger viewers.
Featured image A Screenshot Of Wesh 2 News Video Via YouTube