A terrorist opened fire inside of a gay night club in Orlando, Florida early Sunday morning, which left 20 dead and 42 wounded. According to authorities, it’s one of the deadliest mass shootings on American soil.
FBI and local officials are declaring the attack to be an act of domestic terror, stating it was “well organized and prepared.” The shooter was not from the area, but was a radical lslamist according to Special Agent Danny Banks.
— Eliel Cruz (@elielcruz) June 12, 2016
Multiple victims were found inside of the Pulse nightclub, and police eventually killed the lone gunman after an intense standoff. The shooter has been identified as Omar Sateen, 29, from Port Saint Lucie, Florida.
Terry DeCarlo, director of the GLBT Center of Central Florida in Orlando, called the rampage “an attack on the LGBT community.” Police have not said why the gunman targeted the club.
Witnesses described a frantic scene outside the venue as first responders loaded the wounded into as many vehicles as possible after the killer opened fire.
“We were just leaving the club and we started hearing the shots,” clubber Anthony Torres told the Daily News. “Everyone was running and screaming.”
Jon Alamo was in the back of the club when he saw the shooter entered and began firing.
“I heard 20, 40, 50 shots,” Alamo said. “The music stopped.”
Christopher Hansen was in the VIP area when the tragedy began to unfold.
“I was thinking, are you kidding me? So I just dropped down. I just said, ‘Please, please, please, I want to make it out,’” he said. “And when I did, I saw people shot. I saw blood. You hope and pray you don’t get shot.”
The chaos continued as a barrage of gunshots erupted after police detonated a “controlled explosion.”
Police later confirmed the shooter was dead just before 6 a.m. and said the incident was a “mass casualty situation.”
We will keep you updated as more information becomes available.