Orlando Shooting Becomes Worst in U.S. History

Orlando Shooting Becomes Worst in U.S. History

Key Developments

  • The gunman has been identified as Omar Mir Seddique Mateen of Fort Pierce, Florida. He was born a U.S. citizen in New York to parents from Afghanistan.
  • The shooter pledged allegiance to ISIS in a phone call to 911.
  • 49 people, including Mateen, are deceased as a result of the shooting. As many as 50 injured are at local hospitals around the Orlando area. Twenty-seven people remain hospitalized as of June 14. Six remain "critically ill" and 5 are in "guarded" condition.
  • The gunman was recognized as someone who had been to the nightclub before. Officials believe he had been scouting out the location, as he was "calm and well-organized."
  • Officials believe the suspect had been scouting out Disney World as a possible location to attack, as well.
  • On June 15, the FBI called the attack both a hate crime and terrorism.
  • Investigators are focusing on the suspect's phone for clues as to the motive of the shooting.
  • The gunman's ex-wife is being investigated as it has been previously reported that she may have known about the attack before it happened.

In the early morning hours of Sunday, June 12, gunshots rang out inside a popular nightclub in Orlando, Florida. When the sun would rise, we would see the details of what is now being called the worst mass shooting in U.S. history.

An American-man, later identified as Omar Mir Seddique Mateen, entered the night club with an assault rifle and a pistol at about 2 a.m. and started shooting killed 49 people and wounding at least 53 others, Orlando officials said.

After the initial gunshots were fired, Mateen was confronted by an off duty officer and was taken outside the club where he fired more rounds to get away from the officer and ran back inside the club.

People were trapped inside the club during a three hour standoff as Orlando Police and the FBI worked to negotiate with the shooter. Finally, police crashed into the building with an armored vehicle and stun grenades in an effort to distract the shooter and rescue people from the building.

Nine officers entered the club following the distractions and the shootout that ensued resulted in the death of Mateen. Only one officer was hurt, with injuries to the face when his Kevlar helmet met a bullet from the gunman.

Following the mass shooting, Florida Gov. Rick Scott declared a state of emergency in Orange County.

It has been determined that Mateen had been interviewed by the FBI in 2013 and 2014 in terror-related cases, but both cases were closed. Mateen was able to purchase both the firearms he used in the shooting legally.

Police are investigating to see if Mateen worked under the influence of ISIS or if the attack was ISIS inspired. During the attack, Mateen called 911 to pledge his allegiance to ISIS, mentioning the Boston Bombers on the call.

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