At least 50 people are reportedly dead after a gunman opened fire in an Orlando nightclub shortly after 2am this morning (June 12.) The mass killing took place at Pulse, a gay nightclub, and left at least 50 dead and wounding more than 50 additional people, according to the Orlando Sentinel.
Mayor Buddy Dyer declared a state of emergency and the attack has been called an act of terrorism by Orlando Police Chief John Mina.
Shots began around 2 a.m. EST in the venue, with around 200 people inside. 29-year old Omar Saddiqui Mateen was killed in a shootout that left one officer wounded in the eye. CNN reports that investigators have said that Saddiqui Mateen, who is from Port St. Lucie, Florida approximately 120 miles away from Orlando, might have ties to radical Islam..
Investigators “have suggestions the individual has leanings towards (Islamic terrorism), but right now we can’t say definitely,” Ron Hopper, assistant special agent in charge of the FBI’s Orlando bureau told CNN.
“It’s no coincidence the attack took place where it did and when it did,” U.S. Representative Alan Grayson said.
Grayson declared the shooting a “hate crime.”