This is truly the worst news.
A gunman opened fire in a packed Orlando, Florida nightclub early on Sunday morning, killing at least 50 people and leaving 53 more wounded in what is now the deadliest mass shooting in American history.
The shooter opened fire in Pulse just after 2:00 a.m. local time, spraying bullets in the crowded club and even engaging in ‘a gun battle’ with a police officer working security at the venue.
The shooter held several people hostage for hours, and at 5:00 a.m. local time, police moved to rescue those hostages, using explosives to try to distract the suspect.
Authorities have just confirmed the totals, that at least 50 people are dead, and those 53 more are injured.
Reports now suggest that the gunman is among the dead.
An FBI spokesperson suggested that some of their information had them leaning towards the shooter having some type of ideology towards radical Islam, saying:
“We do have suggestions that that individual may have leanings towards that, that particular ideology. But right now we can’t say definitively so we’re still running everything around.”
Orlando’s mayor, Buddy Dyer, kept it simpler:
“Tonight, we had a crime that will have a lasting effect on our community.”
Kenneth Melendez, a man who had been in the club at the time and had four friends wounded during the shooting, said of the events:
“It’s just something that you see in the movies but never think would happen to you. At first, when I heard the shots I thought it was part of the music, but then we realized it was really happening. I started running and saw someone bleeding from the arm and I was like wow this is really happening and I kept running.”
Such awful, awful news. Our thoughts and prayers are with everybody involved in this horrible incident.
[Image via AP Images.]