Orlando police reports that there was a mass shooting at Orlando Pulse nightclub, in USA. The nightclub is primarily for gays. The shooter is dead and there are 49 other casualties.
The shooter has been identified as Omar Saddiqui Mateen from Afghanistan. It has been revealed that in addition to the mass casualties, over 50 people were seriously injured. The shooting started at about 2am.
President Obama speaks out: President Barack Obama decried the deadliest mass shooting in American history on Sunday as a terrorist act and said the alleged shooter was filled with hatred.
“What is clear is he was a person filled with hatred,” …”We know enough to say that this was an act of terror and an act of hate. And as Americans, we are united in grief, in outrage, and in resolve to defend our people.”
President Obama, who has proclaimed June as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Month, called the attack “heartbreaking” for the LGBT community.
Obama also signed a proclamation on Sunday ordering flags to be flown at half-staff until sunset on Thursday in honor of the victims.
The shooter’s father speaks out: Mir Seddique, the shooter’s father, told NBC News that the mass shooting had “nothing to do with religion.” He also said Mateen got angry when he saw two men kissing in downtown Miami a couple of months ago and that he thinks that may have been a trigger in the shooting.
ISIS has claimed responsibility for the shooting through a statement via its Amaq news agency.
Police decided to go into the nightclub 3 hours later as soon as it became known that hostages were involved. 30 hostages were reportedly freed.
Chief John Mina of Orlando police said in the police briefing that about 9 officers were involved in the shooting and that one of the officers was injured in the shooting but it is not life threatening.
The police is asking the public to use the “SEE SOMETHING, SAY SOMETHING” attitude in order to enable the police gather more information relating to this incident.
The shooter reportedly had a handgun, assault rifle as well as suspected explosive device on him. The device is however, being investigated.
Meanwhile, this shooting incident has been classified and is being investigated as an act of terrorism. It is still unclear whether it is domestic terrorism or international terrorism.
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Evidence are being collected to determine the motive of this shooting incident.
Eyewitness, Christopher Hansen, said he was in the VIP lounge when he started hearing gunshots. According to him:
“I was thinking, are you kidding me? So I just dropped down. I just said please, please, please, I want to make it out,” he said. “And when I did, I saw people shot. I saw blood. You hope and pray you don’t get shot.”