50 Dead, 53 Wounded In Orlando Nightclub Terrorist Attack – Deadliest Mass Shooting In US History
The latest highlights:
- 50 people killed, up from 20, making the Pulse nightclub attack the worst mass shooting in recent US history; New death toll came after investigators were able to gain better access to the building – they had to ensure it was clear of devices
- 53 people were injured, many critically
- Suspect identified as Omar Mateen, a US national, of Port St Lucie, Florida; Investigators are going through his personal papers, social media profile
- The suspect’s van has been secured outside the club
- An assault rifle – AR-15 – was used on all the victims
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Update 12:45 ET: According to Florida Governor Rick Scott, the overnight shooting at a gay nightclub that left 50 dead and 53 wounded is “clearly an act of terror.” He added that “for somebody to go in there and be an active shooter and take that number (of lives) … is clearly an act of terror,” the Republican told a news conference.
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Update 12:23 ET: The shooting appears to be “connected to Islamic radicalism” according to Florida Senator Ben Nelson:
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Update 12:18 ET: State of emergency declared in Florida. View State of Florida State of Emergency Declaration
- Update 11:28 ET: ABC recounts the events events and the fatal showdown the Pulse nightclub:
A police officer working at the club responded to shots fired at 2:02 a.m., and then exchanged fire with Mateen, according to police. Mateen then took hostages, holding them for hours.
At approximately 5 a.m., the SWAT team made the decision to rescue the hostages, officials said. Mateen was killed in a gunfight with those officers early this morning.
FBI assistant agent in charge of the agency’s Tampa division, Ron Hopper, said this morning investigators were “looking at all angles right now” to find a motive. “We do have suggestions that that individual may have leanings towards that, that particular ideology [Islamic extremism]. But right now we can’t say definitively, so we’re still running everything around,” he said.
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