Last Update 19:23
Saturday, 24 August 2019

UPDATE 2: Fifty people killed in massacre at Florida gay nightclub: Police

Reuters , Sunday 12 Jun 2016
Orlando shooting
Orlando Police officers direct family members away from a multiple shooting at a nightclub in Orlando, Fla., Sunday, June 12, 2016 (AP)
Share/Bookmark
Views: 2936
Share/Bookmark
Views: 2936

A gunman killed 50 people and injured 53 in a crowded gay nightclub in the tourist hub of Orlando, Florida, early on Sunday before being shot dead by police, authorities said, in what appeared the deadliest mass shooting in American history.

The shooter was identified as Omar S. Mateen, a man that a senior FBI official said might have had leanings toward Islamic State militants. Officials described the attack as a "terrorism incident" though cautioned that the suspected Islamist connection required further investigation.

The death toll given by Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer and police to reporters made the attack the deadliest single shooting incident in US history, eclipsing the 2007 massacre at Virginia Tech university, which left 32 dead.

"Today we're dealing with something that we never imagined and is unimaginable," Dyer said. Recalling earlier estimates that 20 people had been killed, he added, "It is with great sadness I share that we not have 20 but 50 casualties (dead), in addition to the shooter. There are another 53 ...hospitalized.”

A police officer working as a security guard inside the Pulse nightclub, which has operated in downtown Orlando since 2004, exchanged fire with the suspect at about 2 a.m. EDT, police officials said.

A hostage situation quickly developed, and three hours later a squad of officers stormed the club and shot dead the gunman. It was unclear when the gunman shot the victims.

"Do we consider this an act of terrorism? Absolutely, we are investigating this from all parties' perspective as an act of terrorism," said Danny Banks, special agent in charge of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. "Whether that is domestic terrorist activity or an international one, that is something we will certainly get to the bottom of."

When asked if the FBI suspected the gunman might have had inclinations toward militant Islam, including a possible sympathy for Islamic State (IS) group, Ronald Hopper, an assistant FBI agent in charge, told reporters: "We do have suggestions that the individual may have leanings toward that particular ideology. But right now we can't say definitively."

The FBI said it was still trying to pin down whether the mass shooting was a hate crime against gays or a terrorist act.

President Barack Obama ordered the federal government to provide any assistance needed to Florida police investigating the shooting, the White House said in a statement.

The attacker was carrying an assault rifle and a handgun, Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings said. He was also carrying an unidentified "device", Orlando Police Chief John Mina said earlier.

Javer Antonetti, 53, told the Orlando Sentinel newspaper that he was near the back of the dance club when he heard gunfire. "There were so many (shots), at least 40," he said. "I saw two guys and it was constant, like 'pow, pow, pow,'."

Video footage showed police officers and civilians carrying injured people away from the club and bending over others who were lying on the ground. Dozens of police cruisers, ambulances and other emergency vehicles could be seen in the area.

It was the second deadly shooting at an Orlando night spot in as many nights. Late Friday, a man thought to be a deranged fan fatally shot Christina Grimmie, a rising singing star and a former contestant on "The Voice", as she was signing autographs after a concert in the central Florida city.

Orlando has a population of 270,930 and is the home of the famed Disney World amusement park and many other tourist attractions that attracted 62 million visitors in 2014.

*The story was edited by Ahram Online. 

Short link:

 

Email
 
Name
 
Comment's
Title
 
Comment
Ahram Online welcomes readers' comments on all issues covered by the site, along with any criticisms and/or corrections. Readers are asked to limit their feedback to a maximum of 1000 characters (roughly 200 words). All comments/criticisms will, however, be subject to the following code
  • We will not publish comments which contain rude or abusive language, libelous statements, slander and personal attacks against any person/s.
  • We will not publish comments which contain racist remarks or any kind of racial or religious incitement against any group of people, in Egypt or outside it.
  • We welcome criticism of our reports and articles but we will not publish personal attacks, slander or fabrications directed against our reporters and contributing writers.
  • We reserve the right to correct, when at all possible, obvious errors in spelling and grammar. However, due to time and staffing constraints such corrections will not be made across the board or on a regular basis.
1



Allen
12-06-2016 06:06pm
10-
57+
Obamas dilemma ....
How do you come up with his regular excuses for this one. Without alienating his gay and transgender friends?? His pathetic speech writers are working overtime.
Email
 
Name
 
Comment's Title
 
Comment
Coach
13-06-2016 12:58pm
0-
10+
That's enough.
AO readers understand that your approach to commenting on articles contains only two approaches - bashing Obama and blaming him for all of Egypt's troubles, and branding all dissenters as allies of the Muslim Brotherhood - but here you have gone too far and thus allowed your limited world view to obstruct your ability to be human. This is one of the biggest tragedies that the United States has suffered, and in the name of all those who have lost loved ones and are grieving, I call on you to stand down and apologize for your utter insensitivity and sectarianism.
medo
12-06-2016 10:27pm
0-
0+
@Allen
It is Ramadan and 50 people have been killed by a stupid person... and terrorists have said it has been done in our name!! We should be condoning this disgusting act... not moaning about politicians and their speech writers! I don't care if they are gay or straight... 50 deaths in our holy month makes us look terrible in front of the world.
Latest

© 2010 Ahram Online.