Gunman Who Killed 50 In An Orlando Club Has Been Identified

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At least 50 people were killed and 53 have been hospitalized due to a mass shooting that took place early Sunday morning (June 12) at an Orlando gay nightclub, Police Chief John Mina said.

As of 9AM, the casualties were estimated at about 20, but as of noon, that number drastically increased to 50, with the Mayor of Orlando asking the governor to declare a state of emergency to bring in additional resources.

“Our focus will be to identify the victims and notifying the families. We’re setting up a hotline for concerned family members,” Mayor Buddy Dyer said while addressing the press.

Mina told reporters this was no random act, and the shooter–who has been identified as Omar Saddiqui Matten and later killed by authorities–had a well formulated plan.

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“It’s appears he was organized and well-prepared,” Mina said, also adding the gunman had an assault-type weapon, a handgun and “some type of (other) device on him.”

Orlando authorities said they think this is an act of domestic terrorism, and the FBI is now investigating.

The shooting began at about 2 a.m. outside of club Pulse. Local law enforcement responded to calls and an officer and the shooter engaged in a shootout before the shooter entered the club. Mina told reporters once the shooter was inside, it turned into a hostage situation with local authorities receiving calls from people inside who weren’t near the gunman.

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More police arrived on the scene later breaking down the door with an armored vehicle, thus helping about 30 people to safety. One Pulse attendee gathered the shooting lasted for several minutes.

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“It’s just shocking,” Christopher Hansen who heard the shots said. “[It was] just one after another after another. It could have lasted a whole song,”

This story is sill developing.