More tragedy strikes in Orlando Florida. After the murder Friday night of The Voice singer Christina Grimmie, The Orlando Police barely caught their breath before having to deal with what is being called the worst mass shooting in US history since 9/11.
It took place early Sunday morning, at a popular gay nightclub, The Pulse. From CNN:
- 50 people were killed inside the Pulse club and at least 53 people were injured, police say.
- The gunman was Omar Mateen of Ft. Pierce, Florida, a law enforcement source told CNN.
- Orlando police shot and killed Mateen.
- It appears he was organized and well-prepared,” Orlando Police Chief John Mina said early Sunday. The shooter had an assault-type weapon, a handgun and “some type of (other) device on him.”
Jihadist groups have not formally taken responsibility for the attack, but ISIS sympathizers have reacted by praising the attack on pro-Islamic State forums.
“There’s blood everywhere,” U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson told reporters. “There’s an enormous amount of evidence to be collected.” It’s just shocking,” said Christopher Hansen, who was inside Pulse when he heard gunshots, “just one after another after another.”
“It could have lasted a whole song,” he said. Hansen was getting a drink at the bar about 2 a.m. when he “just saw bodies going down.”
Mina said authorities were called to the club. After a shootout with the gunman around 2 a.m. ET, the shooter ran back inside the club and took people hostage.
People inside the club were communicating on their phones with law enforcement between that time and around 5 a.m., when authorities used an armored vehicle to break down the door of the building. The club is a vast, open space that was hosting more than 300 patrons late Saturday and into Sunday morning.
Hours before the shooting, the club urged partygoers to attend its “Latin flavor” event Saturday night. After the shooting began, the club posted a terse warning on its Facebook page: “Everyone get out of Pulse and keep running.”
President Barack Obama is scheduled to make a statement about the attacks at 1:30 pm ET.
President Obama addresses the tragedy
Authorities provide updated information
Local Press Conference
From earlier today, the death count was 20 at the time.