50 Clubgoers Shot Dead in Orlando Gay Bar Rampage
A Florida gay bar became a horror scene on Sunday morning when a gunman opened fire on unsuspecting revelers, killing 50.
Police say over 50 people were transported to area hospitals after a shooter stormed Pulse nightclub in Orlando around 2 a.m. with an assault rifle, a handgun and "some type of (other) device."
"It's appears he was organized and well-prepared," Orlando Police Chief John Mina told reporters Sunday morning.
Mina said the shootout started outside the nightclub before an officer arrived and engaged the shooter, leading to a hostage situation inside Pulse.
Police smashed down a wall of the building with an armored vehicle, allowing dozens to flee to safety.
That's when police were then able to target and fatally wound the suspect, Mina said. Unfortunately, it was too late for 50 victims and dozens of others being treated for gunshot wounds.
Witnesses described a chaotic scene with countless shots fired and people screaming in terror. The ordeal lasted about three hours.
"Everyone get out of pulse and keep running," read a haunting post on the Pulse Facebook page written during the attack.
Woke up to hear the devastating news from FL. As we wait for more information, my thoughts are with those affected by this horrific act. -H— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) June 12, 2016
In the aftermath, messages of support from around the globe appeared on Pulse's page, as well.
"Thoughts are with you from the UK and the world at this tragic time," one user wrote.
Another Facebook user, this one from Australia, wrote: "Thoughts and prayers to everyone affected. We stand with you."
The shooter was identified as Port St. Lucie man Omar Mateen on Sunday morning as the FBI stepped in to investigate what authorities are calling an act of terror.