Orlando Nightclub Shooting Kills 49, Injures 53 (Updating)

Police shot and killed the gunman in what authorities are calling an act of domestic terror

orlando nightclub shooting pulse
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49 people were killed and another 53 injured Saturday night when a gunman opened fire in an Orlando nightclub called Pulse that serves a mostly gay clientele.

Local authorities and the FBI are investigating the incident — the worst mass shooting in U.S. history — as a possible act of domestic terror.

Police shot and killed the gunman, Orlando Police Chief John Mina told reporters Sunday morning. He has been identified as Omar Mateen, a 29-year-old U.S.-born citizen of Afghani descent living in Port St. Lucie, Florida.

Authorities told ABC News that Mateen had been “on the radar” of U.S. agencies but was not the subject of any specific investigation.

Ron Harper, assistant special agent in charge of the FBI’s Orlando bureau, told CNN that there are “suggestions the individual has leanings towards [Islamic terrorism], but right now we can’t say definitely.”

“It appears he was organized and well-prepared,” Mina said, adding that Mateen had an assault-type weapon, a handgun and “some type of device on him.”

The shooting began around 2 a.m. ET, Mina said, and an off-duty Orlando officer working at the club was the first to respond. That officer exchanged gunfire outside the club, after which Mateen entered the establishment.

“That turned into a hostage situation,” Mina said.

More police arrived and broke down a door with an armored vehicle, helping about 30 club patrons escape, Mina said. Officers then shot and killed Mateen.

At least nine officers were involved in the shootout including one who sustained an eye injury when a bullet hit his Kevlar helmet.

“There’s blood everywhere,” U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson told reporters. “There’s an enormous amount of evidence to be collected.”

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.

The mass killing took place just one day after another tragic shooting in Orlando, when gunman Kevin Loibl shot and killed 22-year-old singer and former “The Voice” contestant Christina Grimmie.

That shooting followed a concert at the Plaza Live Theatre, which is a few miles from Pulse.