Breaking news out of Orlando today, as earlier this morning a gunman opened fire in a Florida gay bar called Pulse. Sue to the close proximity of everyone in the club, the shooter managed to execute more than 20 people, with more than double that number being hospitalized for their wounds.
The culprit? The left will not like this one bit. It wasn’t a white Christian man. It wasn’t some disgruntled right-wing gun nut, and it wasn’t workplace violence as Obama loves to say, but it was an agent of Islamic radicalism. It’s in lock step with what Islamists do in the Middle East: execute gays and throw them off a roof. It’s barbaric, and absolutely a symptom of where the liberal society is headed.
Florida has some of the best gun laws in the country, however Pulse was a gun-free zone, so no one could defend themselves, but instead needed to flee as soon as possible.
UPDATE 10:42 AM EST:
Police say 50 people were killed and 53 were injured in the Orlando night club shooting and are asking the governor to issue a state of emergency.
Fox News can confirm that the gunman is Omar Mateen, 29, of St. Lucia County, FL, a US citizen of Afghan origin.
UPDATE 10:13 AM EST:
Suspect identified as Omar Mateen, a Muslim and registered Democrat, according to RT:
The suspect behind the gay nightclub shooting in Orlando, which left dozens dead and injured, has been identified as Omar Mateen, the CBS network reported, citing sources. The channel added that the FBI is currently checking if he was linked to extremists.
A correspondent from the WFTV channel said Mateen was 27 years old and was from Port St. Lucie in Florida, nearly 150km from Orlando.
According to reports on social media, he was born to Afghan parents.
Photos, allegedly of Mateen, have been circulating on social media since US media named him as the possible suspect behind the slaughter.
The suspect was killed by a SWAT team, police earlier confirmed in a press conference.
He was armed with an assault rifle and a handgun, officials said.
An FBI official who was also present at the conference said: “At this time we’re looking at all angles right now.” He was asked if the shooter might have possible connections with extremists.
— CBS News (@CBSNews) June 12, 2016
“We do have suggestions that that individual may have leanings towards that particular ideology [extremism]. But right now we can’t say definitively so we’re still running everything around,” he added.
Orlando Chief of Police John Mina said that “approximately” 20 people were killed and at least 42 people have been taken to a local hospital. He added that the shooter was wearing some “type of device.”
Earlier reports suggested the gunman was wearing a bomb.
A gunman wielding an assault-type rifle and a handgun opened fire inside a crowded Florida nightclub before dying in a gunfight with SWAT officers, police said Sunday. The attack left about 20 people dead and 42 others wounded.
Authorities were investigating it as an act of terrorism.
Police Chief John Mina said the shooter also had some sort of “suspicious device.” He said the suspect exchanged gunfire with an officer working at the gay club around 2 a.m., then went back inside and took hostages among more than 300 people inside.
Around 5 a.m., authorities sent in a SWAT team to rescue the hostages. Police have not determined an exact number of casualties, but Mina said “approximately 20” bodies were inside the club.
Authorities were looking into whether the attack was an act of domestic or international terror, and if the shooter was a lone wolf, according to Danny Banks, an agent with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.
“This is an incident, as I see it, that we certainly classify as domestic terror incident,” Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings said.
FBI agent Ron Hopper said there was no further threat to Orlando or the surrounding area.
When asked if the gunman had a connection to radical Islamic terrorism, Hopper said authorities “have suggestions that individual has leanings towards that.”
Police had said previously on Twitter that there was a “controlled explosion” at the scene of the shooting at Pulse Orlando, a dance club. Mina said that noise was caused by a device intended to distract the shooter.
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.”
Dozens of police vehicles swarmed the area around the club. At least two police pickup trucks were seen taking what appeared to be shooting victims to the Orlando Regional Medical Center.
Pulse Orlando posted on its own Facebook page around 2 a.m.: “Everyone get out of pulse and keep running.” Just before 6 a.m., the club posted an update: “As soon as we have any information, we will update everyone. Please keep everyone in your prayers as we work through this tragic event. Thank you for your thoughts and love.”
Police said local, state and federal agencies were investigating.
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 the shooting started 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.
We will have more on this story as it unfolds.