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50 Killed in Orlando Nightclub Massacre, Gunman Named

In a tragic series of events, 50 people were killed last night during a domestic terrorist attack on Pulse Club in Orlando, Florida.

The violence broke out early Sunday morning, June 12th at about 2am when a gunman opened fire on an LGBT Nightclub. This is just days following the fatal shooting of vocalist Christina Grummie, best known for her tenure on "The Voice", at another Orlando venue.

The gunman who was carrying an assault rifle, a hand-rife, and "some kind of device" opened fire on the nightclub and many took hostages. The gunman killed 50 individuals, while another 53 were hospitalized. The gunman has now been identified as Orlando-native Omar Mateen, but police have yet to determine the shooter's motive.

According to reports, c lub goers who were still hiding in the nightclub were able to contact police while the gunman was still at large. At around 5am n police set off an explosive "distractionary device" used as part of the rescue mission. . After a 3-hour stand-off, SWAT teams rushed the building killing the gunman. Thirty nightclub hostages were rescued.

In a comment made by Orlando 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,”

Witnesses at the scene recorded footage from the police stand off from outside the venue.

Witness Richard Negroni said:

“We just heard shots, it was less than a minute, it felt longer. There was a brief pause and we just ran. Everybody was just faces to the floor. I had someone over me, I really didn’t see [how many gunmen there were]. All I can tell you was the club was packed, there were over 100 people there, if the gunman came in through the front door people were injured or worse.”

Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families and loved ones during this tragic time.

Cover Photo: NPR

H/T: The Guardian