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article imageOrlando mass shooting, 50 dead, 53 injured — State of Emergency

By Karen Graham     Jun 12, 2016 in World
Orlando - A lone gunman armed with a pistol and assault rifle killed 50 people and injured 53 more at a LGBT nightclub in Orlando, Florida called the Pulse, in what is being called the worst mass shooting in U.S. history.
Orlando Police Chief John Mina said, "It appears he was organized and well-prepared," adding that the shooter had an assault-type weapon, a handgun and "some type of (other) device on him." CNN is saying that law enforcement is investigating whether this was a terror attack or just the work of a lone gunman.
Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer said he had declared a state of emergency for the city and has requested the governor do the same for the state. Law enforcement sources say the shooter had possibly strapped explosives to his body and in his vehicle, but a U.S. official said later that no explosives were found.
U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson, D-Orlando, confirmed the gunman's identity as 29-year-old Omar Mateen of Port St. Lucie, calling the attack a "hate crime" because the shooting happened at a gay club.
Orlando police officers are seen outside of Pulse nightclub after a fatal shooting and hostage situa...
Orlando police officers are seen outside of Pulse nightclub after a fatal shooting and hostage situation on June 12, 2016 in Orlando, Florida
Gerardo Mora, Getty/AFP
According to the police department, the gunman fired the first shot about 2:02 a.m. at an Orlando police officer and then ran into the club, which held more than 200 people. Details about exactly what happened inside the club were unclear, but police say at that point, it became a hostage situation.
At 5:00 a.m., the police SWAT team opened fire and when police got inside, 50 people were dead, including the gunman. Another 53 people were injured. Mina credited his officers with rescuing 30 hostages from the club on 1912 S. Orange Ave., which is just south of downtown Orlando and near Orlando Regional Medical Center.
"Tonight our community witnessed or experienced a very horrific crime," Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer told media near the scene Sunday morning. "Many lives were lost, and many more individuals were impacted by witnessing the crime.
Map of Orlando  Florida  locating the gay nightclub targeted in the mass shooting
Map of Orlando, Florida, locating the gay nightclub targeted in the mass shooting
Kun Tian, AFP
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