At least 50 shot dead, 53 wounded in possible act of Islamic terror in Orlando gay nightclub

Fox News

A gunman who federal authorities say had possible ties to terrorism opened fire early Sunday morning at a packed Orlando nightclub, killing 50 people and wounding at least 53 more in a bloody scene that ended hours later when police stormed the building and killed the shooter.

Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer asked Gov. Rick Scott to declare a state of emergency following the attack.

The gunman was identified as Omar Mateen, Rep. Alan Grayson said during a Sunday morning press conference. Mateen was a U.S. citizen, Grayson said, though that was “not true of other family members of his.” Mateen, 29, lived in Fort Pierce, Fla. He was born in the U.S. to parents of Afghan origin and was a Muslim, Fox News confirmed.  

Authorities were going through Mateen’s belongings on Sunday morning trying to identify a motive for the attack, Grayson said.

“More likely than not that it was an ideologically motivated attack,” Grayson said, though he said it was unclear if Mateen was linked to any terror groups.

“It’s not coincidence the attack took place where it did and when it did,” Grayson said.

Orlando Regional Medical Center called in six trauma surgeons, including a pediatric surgeon, as victims poured in, Dr. Michael Cheatham said. Many of the wounded are “critically ill” due to their injuries, Cheatham said, and the hospital is trying to reach out to their families.

The shooting in Orlando at Pulse, which bills itself as “the hottest gay bar” in the city and was packed with more than 300 people, was reported minutes after 2 a.m. Sunday. In addition to those killed inside the club, at least 42 people were taken to area hospitals. Dozens of party-goers remained hostages in the club for several hours after the initial shooting, prompting SWAT teams to pour inside. Shortly after 6 a.m. local time, Orlando police tweeted that the gunman had been killed.

The shooter was “trained in the use of weapons,” Rep. Peter King told CNN, though King didn’t elaborate on what type of training that was.

The gunman “may have leanings” toward radical Islam, FBI Special Agent in Charge Ron Hopper said when asked by Fox News whether the suspect had ties to Jihadist terror groups. Hopper said the investigation is looking into possible threats made previously by the suspect in connection to radical Islam groups. He said the agency is still investigating and has yet to confirm any role a terror group may have played in the mass shooting.

“There are allegations the individual made threats in the past to having ties to terrorist organizations,” Hopper told Fox News.

At this time we’re looking at all angles right now,” Hopper said. “We do have suggestions that that individual may have leanings toward [radical Islam], that particular ideology. But right now we can’t say definitively so we’re still running everything around.”

The incident “is being investigated as an act of terrorism,” said Danny Banks, special agent in charge at the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, who added that “around 20” people are believed dead inside the nightclub.

Banks said the suspected shooter – who was armed with an “assault-type rifle” and a handgun — also was dead inside the club, where he was shot and killed at around 5 a.m. in a shootout with SWAT team officers who were called in “to rescue hostages,” Chief John Mina of the Orlando Police Department said.

Mina said officers were engaged in a gun battle outside the club before the suspect went back into the building, where more shots were fired. He said the gunman then took several hostages.

“It appears he was organized and well-prepared,” the chief said, adding that the shooter had an assault-type weapon, a handgun and “some type of (other) device on him.”

At least 9 officers were involved in raiding the nightclub, and one officer was injured, according to Banks. The injured officer was hit by a bullet and his Kevlar helmet saved his life, Banks said.

Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer credited law enforcement with saving more lives by their heroic efforts.

“Many were saved by the heroic efforts of the Orlando Police Department and Orange County Sheriff’s Office,” he said.

Officials said the next update will take place at 9 a.m. Police said local, state and federal agencies were investigating.

Witnesses in the club reported mass chaos after hearing several shots ring out inside the nightclub.

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.”

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.”

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 it happened around, 2 a.m., 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.

Christopher Hansen said he was in the VIP lounge when he started hearing gunshots. He continued to hear shooting even after he emerged, where police were telling people to back away from the club. He saw injured people being tended to across the street.

“I was thinking, are you kidding me? So I just dropped down. I just said please, please, please, I want to make it out,” he said. “And when I did, I saw people shot. I saw blood. You hope and pray you don’t get shot.”

Ricardo Negron Almodovar, who posted a message on the club’s Facebook page describing his harrowing escape after shots broke out, described a chaotic scene.

“People on the dance floor and bar got down on the floor and some of us who were near the bar and back exit managed to go out through the outdoor area and just ran,” he posted on the club’s Facebook page.

“I am safely home and hoping everyone gets home safely as well.”

The incident follows the fatal shooting late Friday of 22-year-old singer Christina Grimmie, who was killed after her concert in Orlando by a 27-year-old Florida man who later killed himself. Grimmie was a YouTube sensation and former contestant on “The Voice.”

Police said there was no more threat to the area.

21 thoughts on “At least 50 shot dead, 53 wounded in possible act of Islamic terror in Orlando gay nightclub

  1. Any person with critical thinking skills should maintain the default position that any and all shootings are staged and/or drills gone live until we have proof otherwise. I therefore call bullshit on this. I assume a manifesto will turn up soon along with a possible Trump for president sticker, and browsing history that indicates the [always dead] shooter was radicalized online by visiting extremist websites. What a world we live in…

  2. “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.’ ”

    Does anyone contend this is NOT a routine text from the bathroom of a gay club? I’m so grateful these Gladio scriptwriters have a sense of humor.

  3. Here we go again. One last attempt to meet the UN disarmament requirement before the shysters lose the whitehouse. TOTUS did sign the treaty and mass shootings have been popular since.

  4. “Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer asked Gov. Rick Scott to declare a state of emergency following the attack.”

    wtf really!

    all Men gunnup

  5. I just read that they claim that this is the biggest mass shooting in history.
    WHAT ABOUT WACO!!?????

  6. Live by the “sword” die by the sword!
    Press will have a field day with this event.
    Gun control and Kevlar Speedos.

  7. To Senator Bill Nelson, “D” Fla: Do not tell me I need to examine myself because some radical jihadi took it upon himself to shoot up a night club. I, nor any decent hard working American person had nothing to do with this you clown. Typical scumbag politician.

  8. Horse pucky! Going to need a whole lot more to prove such things occurred when it comes from the mouth of joo state run media.

  9. And a whole 1.4% of our population gives a small shit.
    Heard one of the talking heads say “Our reaction to this tragedy reflects who we are.”
    A so called Muslim extremist shoots up a gay bar in Orlando Florida and I am supposed to react at all?
    How can I say this and make it clear? I could give a shit less.
    Another false flag operation, designed to get just enough of the American people to say, “Oh gee golly, the gun did it”, to give their implementation of the UN Small Arms Treaty a try.
    But here, I’ll give you a reaction. Go for it, it is way past time to get this unpleasantness over with.

    1. Oh yeah, and weren’t we talking about some felony chargey thingy coming down on Hillary Clinton when this diversion popped up?

  10. Don’t cha just love how on one hand they want to call this a terrorist hit
    And on the other hand they want to dis- arm you

    Yeah lol sure , I’ll give up my guns while uncontrolled government is out shooting up churches , gay bars , and schools
    And most any other public venue
    Sure … KMA

    All while Obama and his tranny is shoving LGBT crap down our throats .. Man , it doesn’t get any more obvious than this

    Y’all going bout this entirely the wrong way

  11. So the casualties are anywhere from 20-50 dead and some 50+ wounded… I have to say this guy is the most accurate shooter we have had to date, no one has ever pulled this one off, he had to reload a few times to do this and frankly after the first shot the masses were moving and dodging… I think the Rangers and SEALS would dearly love to have a guy who can mow em down like that on the move and reload/shoot on the fly packed building or not.

    I call bullshit on this, something is not right and it starts with this guys insane accuracy.

  12. 1. He went into a gay bar out of all places.
    2. Not one of these people (100 or so in the bar) were able to tackle the SOB.
    3. It’s the same area where they were having those international joint drills.
    4. I have a feeling we will never hear who those 50 people were who were supposedly shot and killed. After all, we have to respect their gay rights.
    5. Like Henry said, wasn’t there a big felony this g about to go down on Clinton and then this happened to divert it.
    6. This is the elites last hurrah to pass that gun registration bill that they are planning on voting on.

    Finally, a “massacre”? Oh puhleaasee. Do they even know what massacre is?

  13. Over 300 people in there and it took 4 hrs for the police to enter??? And not ONE of the 300 had the cajones to storm him when he was reloading????
    Were they all busy doing jazz hands?

  14. I am now reading some comments about a lack of ambulances at the scene. In some of the pictures I saw a large number of police and some standing around with their rifles in hand. after the alleged shooter has already been killed. Someone also posted reports immediately after the incident that there was a contest at the club and the jealous looser shot the winner and a couple people down range. Shortly after, the incident escalated to a massacre. We will have to watch for funeral announcements and burials and later look at FBI murder statistics to see if the 50 killed show up. Some early reports indicate that there were 2 shooters. A second shooter would allow the other time to reload and prevent rushing the shooter. Thanks to the hive mind of the internet, the inconsistencies show up.

    1. There’s always 2 or 3 shooters and then it turns into 1 at the very end. Just like Sandy Hoax and just like the Boston Marathon and just like the Aurora Theater. Same story over and over again.

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