At least 50 people have died and 53 others injured following a suspected terrorist attack on Pulse (an LGBT nightclub) in Orlando, The Guardian reports.
Orlando police said the shooting was being treated as an “act of domestic terrorism” and had resulted in mass casualties, urging people to stay away from the area. They also confirmed that the killed had been killed.
In a press conference on Sunday morning, an FBI spokesman said investigators believed the attacker may have had extremist beliefs, and would consider possible links to ISIS, but cautioned they were pursuing multiple leads.
Eyewitnesses on Pulse’ Facebook page said the shooting began at about 2AM on Sunday.
One user, Ricardo A., wrote: “I was there. Shooter opened fire @ around 2AM. People on the dance floor and bar got down on the floor and some of us who were near the bar and back exit managed to go out through the outdoor area and just ran. I am safely home and hoping everyone gets home safely as well”
Another user, Jordan H., wrote: “There was a shooter with an assault rifle who shot up the people in the club sometime around 2AM. The club is reported to have been at full capacity. The shooter has himself barricaded inside Pulse with multiple hostages.”
According to the Chief of Police John Mina, “A little after 0500 hours we made a decision to go in and conduct a rescue, we were being contacted by people in the bathroom, about 15 people, our biggest concern was future loss of life.”
He also said that the suspect was “well organised” saying that they cannot confirm if he worked alone or in coordination with others.
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