Florida Shooting: 50 Killed in Gay Nightclub; Worst Terror Attack in U.S. History

Florida Shooting

Fifty people were killed and 53 others were injured in Florida shooting. A mass shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida on Sunday. The incident is considered the worst terror attack in the history of the United States since 9/11.

According to Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer, the attack at the Pulse nightclub was the deadliest single shooting incident in U.S. history. It surpassed the 32 people killed in a massacre at the Virginia Tech University in 2007 as well as the 2012 mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School where 27 people died.

In a statement, Mayor Dyer said, “Today we’re dealing with something that we never imagined and is unimaginable. Because of the scale of the crime, I’ve asked the Governor to declare state of emergency.”

Mayor added that they declared a state of emergency for the city of Orlando to bring additional resources deal with the aftermath and they focusing on identifying the victims and notifying the families.

President Barack Obama ordered the federal government to provide any assistance necessary to pursue the investigation and support the community.

An act of terrorism or hate crime

Law enforcement identified the gunman as Omar Saddique Mateen of Ft. Pierce, Florida. He was a trained security guard. The Orlando police shot and killed Mateen.

Orlando Police Chief John Mina said, “It appears he was organized and well-prepared.” According to him, Mateen had an assault-type weapon, a handgun and “some type of [other] device on him.”

A senior FBI official commented that Mateen probably had inclination toward the Islamic State. Officials said described the incident an act of “terrorism,” but emphasized that they needed further investigation to prove the suspicion that the gunman had connection with the terrorist group.

The FBI is still trying to determine whether the mass shooting was a hate crime or an act of terrorism.

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.”

In a statement, Equality Florida, a LGBT advocacy group, said. “Gay clubs hold a significant place in LGBTQ history. They were often the only safe gathering place and this horrific act strikes directly at our sense of safety. We will await the details in tears of sadness and anger.”

Danny Banks, special agent in charge of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, said, “Do we consider this an act of terrorism? Absolutely. Whether that is domestic terrorist activity or an international one that is something we will certainly get to the bottom of.”

CNN noted that ISIS sympathizers commenting on pro-Islamic forums praised the attack at the Pulse night club. The terrorist group hasn’t claimed responsibility for the attack.