Approximately 20 people are dead inside Pulse nightclub, Orlando Police Chief John Mina said Sunday morning, just hours after a shooter opened fire in the club. At least 42 people have been transported for medical treatment, he said.
Police have shot and killed the gunman, Mina told reporters.
"It's 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." Orlando authorities said they consider the violence an act of domestic terror. The FBI is involved.
The shooting began around 2 a.m., and an officer responded, Mina said. The officer engaged in a shootout outside the club, after which the gunman ran into the club.
"That turned into a hostage situation," Mina said. Authorities were getting calls from people inside the club but away from the gunman, the chief said.
More police rushed to the scene and broke down a door with an armored vehicle, helping some 30 clubgoers flee to safety, Mina said. At that point police shot and killed the gunman, he said.
The suspect has been identified as Omar Mateen though that seems to be all the authorities know about him right now.
This is still an ongoing investigation so it has not yet been determined if this was an act of international terrorism, a hate crime, or simply some lunatic who decided to kill a bunch of people because he was bored and had access to an assault rifle.
Since this was a gay club there is of course the strong possibility that this individual targeted the club for that reason, but since the investigation is ongoing there is no definitive proof as to the motive.
Of course Donald Trump is ready to jump to conclusions.
Here is some amateur video taken by a witness. In it you can hear the number of shots fired, and see the dead and wounded being tended to on the street outside of the nightclub.Really bad shooting in Orlando. Police investigating possible terrorism. Many people dead and wounded.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 12, 2016
Update: We are now learning that the number of dead has reached 50, with 53 injured.