Many are awakening Sunday morning in America to the horrific news of an Orlando shooting in a crowded Florida nightclub that left at least 50 people dead and scores more injured.
According to reports, Omar Mateen, a “lone gunman,” was equipped with multiple firearms while dressed in a suicide vest. Witnesses said the gunman lined up hostages and opened fire, leaving at least 50 casualties and 53 more injured, police said. Mateen, a resident of Port St. Lucie, Florida, authorities said. Mateen is a U.S. citizen born in 1989, authorities said.
Police Chief John Mina also said the shooter had some sort of “suspicious device.” He said the suspect exchanged gunfire with an officer working at the club around 2 a.m., then went back inside and took hostages. Around 5 a.m., authorities sent in a SWAT team to rescue the hostages, and the suspect then died in a gunfight with those officers. Mina said police have not determined an exact number of casualties, but that “approximately 20” people were dead inside the club. h/t abc7
Florida Department of Law Enforcement said the mass shooting is being investigated as an act of terrorism.
The shooting comes one day after Youtube star Christina Grimmie was shot and killed after a concert in Orlando while signing autographs.