Sunday, June 12, 2016

Orlando gay nightclub shooting: 50 killed, suspect is Omar Mateen

BBC- Fifty people are now known to have died in a shooting in a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, and a state of emergency has been declared, the city's mayor Buddy Dyer has said.

Fifty people are now known to have died in a shooting in a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, and a state of emergency has been declared, the city's mayor Buddy Dyer has said.
The gunman, named by officials as Omar Mateen, was killed after taking hostages.
Another 53 people were injured in the shooting at the Pulse club.
It is the worst mass shooting in recent US history. Florida governor Rick Scott said it was "clearly an act of terror".
Officials said the killings were likely to be ideologically motivated, though there was no information that the gunman was associated with a particular group.
However, US Congressman Alan Grayson said it was "no coincidence" the attack happened in a gay club.

Omar MateenImage copyrightCBS NEWS
Image captionUS media have published a picture of the suspect, Omar Mateen
Omar Mateen selfieImage copyrightOMAR MATEEN
Image captionMateen's father said his motives had nothing to do with religion

"It may be we've seen the commission of an awful hate crime," he added.
Mateen's father Mir Seddique told NBC News that the incident had nothing to do with religion, and may have been triggered by the sight of a gay couple kissing in Miami.
But NBC News reported that Mateen called the emergency services before the attack and swore allegiance to the so-called Islamic State militant group.
French President Francois Hollande condemned the mass killing "with horror" and expressed the "full support of France and the French with America's authorities and its people in this difficult time", a statement by his office said.
Meanwhile Pope Francis expressed "deep horror and condemnation" of the "homicidal folly" of the shooting.
It is believed that the suspect, who was a US citizen from the Florida town of Port St Lucie and was of Afghan descent, was not on a terrorism watch list, although he was being investigated for an unrelated criminal act.

The death toll given by Mayor Dyer means that the Orlando attack surpasses the 2007 massacre at Virginia Tech which left 32 people dead.
"Today we're dealing with something that we never imagined and is unimaginable," he said, adding that there was "an enormous amount of havoc" and "blood everywhere".
"Because of the scale of the crime I've asked the [Florida] governor to declare a state of emergency," he said.
"We're also issuing a state of emergency for the city of Orlando so that we can bring additional resources to bear to deal with the aftermath."
Security has also been boosted for the last day of the Capital Pride LGBT festival in Washington DC, which will include a moment of silence for the Orlando victims at 13:00 local time.

Worst US mass shootings in last 25 years

  • At least 50 dead, 2016 - Omar Mateen opens fire on revellers at gay club in Orlando, Florida
  • 32 dead, 2007 - Student Seung-Hui Cho massacres students at Virginia Tech university before killing himself
  • 27 dead, 2012 - Adam Lanza kills 20 six- and seven-year-old children and six adults before killing himself at Sandy Hook, Connecticut
  • 23 dead, 1991 - George Hennard drives through the wall of a cafe in Killeen, Texas, before opening fire and committing suicide
  • 14 dead, 2015 - Syed Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik open fire at a staff gathering in San Bernardino
  • 13 dead, 2009 - Maj Nidal Malik Hasan opens fire at army base in Fort Hood, Texas
  • 13 dead, 2009 - Jiverly Wong shoots people at New York immigrant centre before killing himself
  • 13 dead, 1999 - Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold kill fellow students and a teacher at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado

Orlando Police Chief John Mina said the attack began at 02:00 (06:00 GMT). There was an exchange of fire with a police officer working at the club, but it is unclear whether that was inside or outside the venue.

Kevlar helmet worn by law enforcerImage copyrightORLANDO POLICE
Image captionOrlando police say the life of one of their men was saved by his Kevlar helmet
Pulse DJ Ray Rivera is consoled by a friend - 12 JuneImage copyrightAP
Image captionA DJ in the club at the time of the attack is comforted by a friend
SWAT team member arrives at scene of shooting - 12 JuneImage copyrightAP
Image captionSWAT officers were at the scene of the shooting
Image copyrightEPA
Picture released by Orlando Police of scene outside Pulse nightclubImage copyrightORLANDO POLICE
Image captionPolice released a picture of the scene outside the nightclub after the attack

After this a "hostage situation" unfolded, he said.
Chief Mina said a decision was taken at 05:00 to send a police assault team into the club after receiving texts and phone calls from some of the hostages.
"Our Swat officers exchanged gunfire with the suspect, the suspect is dead," he said.
"He appeared to be carrying an assault-type rifle and a handgun, and had some type of device on him."
A bomb squad robot has been searching the scene for possible booby traps.
According to the Mass Shooting Tracker, the US last year suffered 372 mass shootings, defined as a single incident that kills or injures four or more people. Some 475 people were killed and 1,870 wounded.
The latest incident came as Orlando was still reeling from the fatal shooting on Friday night of 22-year-old singer Christina Grimmie following a concert in the city.