At least 50 dead in shooting at Florida nightclub

Sunday, June 12, 2016

In the early morning hours of today, according to police, a man by the name of Omar Mateen entered Pulse Nightclub, a gay club in Orlando, Florida, and opened fire. 50 people were killed and 53 were hospitalized.

It is now the largest mass shooting in United States history, with the Virginia Tech and Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting shootings the closest behind. The shooter today used an automatic rifle according to one account; took hostages, and was eventually killed in a gun battle with SWAT units.

Mateen's father, Mir Seddique, said in remarks to NBC News the attack was not about religion. The shooter allegedly called 911, the emergency phone number in the United States, and pledged his allegiance to ISIS. ISIS has claimed responsibility, according to a tweet from Reuters India. Reportedly, many have praised the attack on pro-ISIS forums.

Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer has declared a state of emergency.

According to Orlando Police Chief John Mina, "It appears [Omar Mateen] was organized and well-prepared".

"It's just shocking [...] just one after another after another [...] It could have lasted a whole song", commented Christopher Hansen, who was getting a drink when gunshots rang out.