50 dead in Orlando gay nightclub attack; deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history
ORLANDO (KUSI) — 1:30 p.m. — Details on the circumstances surrounding the murder of 50 people at an Orlando nightclub Sunday morning continue to emerge. The FBI, along with local authorities in Orlando, are preparing for a deep investigation into Omar Mateen who has been identified as the man that opened fire in Pulse gay nightclub before being killed by police.
Mateen was investigated by the FBI twice in the past dating back to 2013 when "inflammatory comments" he made to co-workers led to an investigation that included interviews with the agency. Authorities concluded information was inconclusive and ended their investigation. Mateen was on the FBI’s radar a second time in 2014, when they questioned him about ties to an American suicide bomber who grew up in Florida.
Officials with the Bureau of Alcoholo, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives indicate that Mateen legally purchased two guns within the last few days, according to CNN.
President Barack Obama held a press conference to discuss the Orlando shooting and express his condolences to those affected by the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history. He also indicated authorities were handling this as an act of terrorism. The City of Orlando has begun releasing names of victims in the tragic shooting.
9:12 a.m. — 50 people are dead in what’s now considered the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history. A gunman opened fire early Sunday morning in Pulse, a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida. 53 people were also hospitalized with injuries.
The act is being considered a domestic act of terror. Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer has asked Florida Governor Rick Scott to declare a state of emergency following the shooting after doing so for the city. The gunman, identified as Omar Mateen, was shot and killed by authorities.
"It appears he was organized and well-prepared," Orlando Police Chief John Mina said.
Officials disclosed Mateen was armed with an assault-type weapon and a handgun. At least nine officers were involved in the shootout at Pulse. One officer suffered an eye injury. Orlando authorities are preparing for a long investigation and the FBI is also involved. Once the initial shooting had stopped and police were on scene it became a hostage situation, according to Mina.
The shooting began at about 2 a.m. ET. Pulse nightclub attempted to use Facebook to warn clubgoers within the establishment to escape the vicinity:
The 2007 shooting at Virginia Tech was the deadliest shooting prior to this, leaving 32 dead.