Tragedy struck the city of Orlando, Florida earlier this morning after a man identified as Omar Mateen opened fire inside Pulse nightclub, killing at least 50 people and injuring 42 others.
Reports say a police officer responded to gunfire around 2am. According to ABC News, “It then turned into “a hostage situation,” when the gunman went inside the club and took hostages. The gunman had an assault rifle, handgun and “some kind of device on him,” officials said. At approximately 5 a.m., the SWAT team made the decision to rescue the hostages, officials said. The shooter was killed in a gunfight with those officers.“
Approximately 320 people were inside the nightclub, which is dubbed as Orlando’s premier gay nightclub. In a news conference, Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings said, “This can be classified as a domestic terror incident.”
Mateen is said to be from St. Lucie County in Florida. No other details of the gunman have been released at this time, however WESH Orlando Stewart Moore is on the scene and has been providing updates on his Twitter page:
SOURCE: ABC News | PHOTO CREDIT: Getty