8 Latest Developments in Orlando Shooting (Video)

Death toll decreases, Disney World named a potential target and J.K. Rowling “can’t stop crying”

Last Updated: June 13, 2016 @ 11:13 AM

The world watched the news in shock on Sunday after Florida man Omar Saddiqui Mateen carried out the worst mass shooting in U.S. history at a nightclub in Orlando, and updates have been pouring in since.

Mateen, a 29-year-old U.S.-born citizen of Afghani descent, was killed by police during a shootout after he stormed gay nightclub Pulse around 2 a.m. ET Sunday.

The shooter, who has been described as “mentally ill” by his ex-wife, called 911 during the Orlando attacks and reportedly pledged his allegiance to ISIS. Amaq Agency, a news outlet associated with the so-called Islamic State, reported the terror group claimed responsibility for the violence, which would mark the worst terror attack on U.S. soil since the tragic events of Sept. 11, 2001.

Here are eight of the latest updates on the mass shooting.

1. Death Toll Decreases

ORLANDO, FL - JUNE 12: <> on June 12, 2016 in Orlando, Florida. (Photo by Gerardo Mora/Getty Images)

The official death toll has decreased from 50 to 49 after an FBI press conference on Monday morning. Why? “We don’t really count the shooter as a victim,” FBI special agent Paul Wysopal said.

During the same press conference, Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer said authorities have identified 48 victims of the shooting, and have notified the next of kin of 24 so far.

2. Authorities Are Investigating Possibililty of Accomplices

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“It appears he was organized and well-prepared,” Orlando Police chief John Mina said of Mateen on Monday. Although authorities said they haven’t found any accomplices, they’re not ruling any out.

“If anyone else was involved in this crime, they will be prosecuted,” U.S. Attorney Lee Bentley said on Monday, adding, “We have no reason to believe that anyone connected to this crime is placing the public in imminent danger at this time, but there is an investigation into other persons.”

3. Killer Attempted to Buy Military-Grade Body Armor 

Omar Mateen

CNN cited a U.S. official who said Mateen attempted to buy military-grade body armor from a local store in recent weeks, further suggesting the attack on Pulse nightclub was meticulously planned.

Personnel at the store reportedly refused to sell Mateen what is known as Level III body armor, which offers more protection than the body armor police officers typically wear. A Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives spokesman said Mateen also legally purchased a Glock pistol and a long gun. It is not known, however, if those weapons were used in the attack.

4. Orlando Police Chief Details Rescue Operation

Orlando Police Chief John Mina detailed his officers’ response, which began with an off-duty officer exchanging gunfire with the suspect while working security for Pulse nightclub.

“We had an extra duty, off duty officer working for Pulse nightclub in full police uniform. At about 2 o’clock he responded to shots fired. He did engage in the gun battle with the suspect somewhere near one of the entrances,” Mina said. “Shortly after that, additional offers responded.”

After determining that hostages held by Mateen were at immediate risk of death, Mina says he authorized the use of explosives to open a wall in the bathroom where the gunman was holed up.

“Further loss of life was imminent. I made the decision to commence the rescue operation and do the explosive breach,” Mina said. “[Mateen] was ultimately killed.”

Watch Mina’s explanation above for more details.

5. Hillary Clinton Calls for Revival of Ban on Assault Rifles

“I think we’ve got to get back to common-sense safety reform. You can’t fall into the trap that was set up by the gun lobby that says if you can’t stop every shooting and every incident, you should not try to stop any,” Clinton told CNN on Monday. “We did have an assault weapons ban for 10 years, and I think it should be reinstated.”

Clinton also pointed out the lax gun laws in Florida, which allowed gunman Omar Saddiqui Mateen to legally purchase both a handgun and an assault rifle in the days leading up to the attack.

“Florida doesn’t regulate assault weapons, or .50-caliber rifles, or large capacity ammunition magazines,” she said. “It doesn’t require a permit to purchase a gun. It doesn’t require any registration whatsoever.”

Watch the interview above.

6. Donald Trump Says More Guns Would Have Saved More Lives
donald trump shrugs

The presumptive GOP nominee had a starkly different reaction. Instead of calling for gun control, he called for more guns.

“If you had some guns in that club the night that this took place, if you had guns on the other side, you wouldn’t have had the tragedy that you had,” the presumptive GOP nominee told CNN’s Alisyn Camerota on “New Day” Monday. “If people in that room had guns with the bullets flying in the opposite direction right at him, right at his head, you wouldn’t have had the same tragedy that you ended up having.”

When Camerota stressed there was, in fact, an armed security guard who did engage in gunfire with the shooter, Trump suggested the patrons of the club should have had firearms “strapped to their ankle or strapped to their waist.”

7. Disney World Also a Possible Target

Mateen may have targeted Disney World as a potential site of attack, a federal law enforcement source told People. The official said the deceased shooter and his wife Noor Zahi Salman visited Orlando’s Walt Disney World in April.

Salman told law enforcement on Sunday, hours after the attack at Pulse, that Mateen had recently scouted both the nightclub and Downtown Disney as potential attack targets. Downtown Disney does not have a security checkpoint for entry as do the ticketed theme parks.

8. Entertainers Pay Tribute to Victims 

Adele teared up while dedicating her concert Sunday night to the victims of the shooting, while others took to social media to mourn or stand in solidarity with the LGBTQ community.