The suspect 29 year old Omar Mateen of Port Pierce, Florida was Armed with an AR-15-style assault rifle and a handgun, entered Pulse Gay Nightclub at approximately 2:00A.M. Sunday morning and began open fire killing over 50 people and injuring dozens more victims.
The incident became a deadly hostage situation when Mateen took hostages from a group that was hiding in a bathroom after 320 people escaped. Florida Officials stated shortly before 6:00 A.M., SWAT unit breached the club and Mateen was shot and killed by officers during the standoff. Orlando Police Chief John Mina confirmed Mateen used an AR-15 rifle and an handgun.
FBI Agent Ron Hopper told reporters Mateen may have had leanings toward Islamic extremism he was a suspected Islamist radical, and the attack occurred during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan . However, there is no immediate indication that Mateen had any direct connection to ISIS.
Rep. Adam Schiff, the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, said Mateen had pledged allegiance to ISIS, according to officials from the Department of Homeland Security.
ISIS recently declared online that its followers should mount attacks to mark the approach of the holy month of Ramadan.
Mateen’s parent are from Afghanistan but sources state that Mateen was born in New York. His father Mir Seddique told NBC News that “the sight of two gay men kissing angered his son.” “We are saying we are apologizing for the whole incident,” the father stated. “We weren’t aware of any action he is taking. We are in shock like the whole country.” “We are very sorry about what had happened.”
Orlando mayor, Buddy Dyer, said in a statement: “We are a strong, resilient community. And tonight we had a crime that will have a lasting effect on our community. We need to stand strong and we need to be supportive of the victims and their families.”
This tragedy is being referred to as one of the worst mass shootings in American history.
The investigation is still ongoing, More information will be updated as it comes in.