June 12, 2016 – BBC, dallasnews.com, REUTERS – Up date – 2:00 PM
IMAGES BEING BLOCKED BY U.S. GOVERNMENT, NSA
Islamic State claims responsibility, according to AMOQ News Agency.
President Obama calls the shooting “an act of hate and an act of terror.”
Shooter was known ton FBI as an Islamic State sympathizer: CNN
Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said in a release on Sunday he is cancelling a business trip to Beijing after the shooting in Orlando. Johnson had planned to participate in cyber conference in China.
Up date – 1:00 PM
SUSPECT Image being blocked bu NSA
See Suspect and image here in this video
The shooter, identified by authorities as Omar S. Mateen, was killed by police. CBS News reported that he was born in Port St. Lucie, Florida, and that his parents were from Afghanistan.
The father of Omar Mateenis an Afghan man who holds strong political views, including support for the Afghan Taliban, the Washington Post reports. Seddique Mateen, who has been referred to as Mir Seddique in early news reports, hosted a television show called Durand Jirga on a channel called Payam-e-Afghan, which broadcasts from California.
Omar S. Mateen, the Florida resident suspected of killing 50 people at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, called 911 before the shooting and swore allegiance to Islamic State, NBC News said on Twitter.
Suspect arrested at L.A. Pride festival after authorities find weapons and explosives in his car.
FYI everyone, ISIS has just issued its daily news bulletin. Of note – no mention of Orland
The co-owner of Pulse, the Orlando gay nightclub that became the scene this morning’s shooting, founded the club to honor her brother who died of AIDS and to support the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.
orlando firefighters say they were woken up by injured people banging on the door. one firefighter’s daughter was in the club at the time.
The Washington Post reports that the suspect’s ex-wife claims he was abusive and erratic:
The brief marriage was marked by domestic violence, she said.
Up Date: 50 killed and 53 injured.
Orlando Police said officers entered the Pulse Club about three hours after the shooting unfolded – and killed the gunman, who had taken hostages.
The suspected gunman was identified by relatives and law enforcement officials as Omar Mateen, a 29-year-old from Fort Pierce, Fla. His parents are from Afghanistan.
Relatives have been gathering at local hospitals desperate for news.
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Many had received calls and texts from loved ones inside the club as the siege began, and some have heard nothing since. One officer suffered an eye injury, and officials credited his helmet for saving his life.
A police officer working as a security guard inside the Pulse club exchanged fire with the suspect at about 2 a.m., police officials said.
They called it an act of terrorism, but said they did not yet know if it was domestic or international.
“Many lives were lost,” Mayor Buddy Dyer said.
Mina Justice was outside the club early Sunday trying to contact her 30-year-old son Eddie, who texted her when the shooting happened and asked her to call police. He told her he ran into a bathroom with other club patrons to hide. He then texted her: “He’s coming.”
“The next text said: ‘He has us, and he’s in here with us,'” she said. “That was the last conversation.”
Jon Alamo said he was at the back of one of the club’s rooms when a man holding a weapon came into the front of the room.
“I heard 20, 40, 50 shots,” Alamo said. “The music stopped.”
Club-goer Rob Rick said it happened around, 2 a.m., just before closing time.
“Everybody was drinking their last sip,” he said.
He estimated more than 100 people were still inside when he heard shots, got on the ground and crawled toward a DJ booth. A bouncer knocked down a partition between the club area and an area in the back where only workers are allowed. People inside were able to then escape through the back of the club.
Police Chief John Mina said he was not ready to provide a final death toll yet, but the number could be about 20. At least 42 people were hospitalized.
The shooter, who was armed with an assault rifle and a handgun, was “organized and well prepared,” Mina said. Authorities confirmed the gunman had been carrying a “suspicious device” and they were continuing their efforts to ensure there were no lingering risks inside the club.
Florida Law Enforcement Department Special Agent Danny Banks said officials agreed the attack was domestic terrorism.
Law-enforcement officials had not completed their work in identifying the gunman, but they did say, “He is not from this area.”
Authorities also said they believe they’ve found indications the attacker had connections to Jihadist terror groups.
“We do have suggestions that that individual may have leanings towards that, that particular ideology,” said Ron Hopper, the FBI’s assistant agent in charge of the agency’s Tampa division. “But right now we can’t say definitively, so we’re still running everything around”
They made clear that they did not believe there was any ongoing threat related to the incident.
Chief Mina said a decision was taken at 05:00 to send a police assault team into the club after receiving texts and phone calls from some of the hostages.
“Our SWAT officers exchanged gunfire with the suspect, the suspect is dead,” he said.
An FBI spokesman said they were investigating whether the attacker was a “lone wolf”. He said the attacker appeared to “have leanings towards” radical Islamist ideology but it was not yet clear whether this was a case of domestic or international terrorism. But one FBI office said he did have connection with other possibly groups through the Internet.
“There were just bodies everywhere,” Christopher Hansen said. “In the parking lot, they were tagging them – red, yellow – so they knew who to help first and who not help first. Pants down, shirts cut off, they had to find the bullets. Just blood everywhere.”
Some of the injured were reportedly brought to the Orlando Regional Medical Center in police pick-ups.
More than 100 people were reported to have been enjoying the end of a Latin-themed night in the club, which calls itself the hottest gay bar in the city, when the attack began.
“We heard rapid fire go off. In the room I was in, people went down to the floor. I wasn’t able to see the shooter or people get hurt,” Ricardo Negron Almodovar told BBC News.
“At some point, there was a brief pause, and a group of us got up and went to the exit that leads to the patio area outside. We found an exit and after that… I just ran.”
Credit BBC, dallasnews.com