A state of emergency has been declared across the city of Orlando after deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history in which more than 50 people have been reported dead
ORLANDO (Florida, U.S.) – A shooting rampage at an Orlando nightclub early Sunday has killed at least 50 people in the most deadly shooting spree in U.S. history.
At least 53 more people were injured, Orlando Police Chief John Mina and other officials said Sunday morning. Police have shot and killed the gunman, Mina told reporters.
“Our biggest concern was further loss of life,” Mina said. “We exchanged gunfire with the suspect, and he was dead at the scene.”
Orlando Police Chief John Mina Mina had initially estimated the death toll at more than 20 people.
Mayor Dyer confirmed to a press conference that there were 50 killed and 53 hospitalised in the shooting, not 20 killed and 42 hospitalised as initially reported by police.“It’s absolutely terrible, 50 casualties, one location, it’s absolutely one of the worst tragedies we’ve seen,” he said.
A state of emergency has been declared across the city of Orlando, Mayor Dyer has announced, to allow law enforcement officials to focus on the investigation of the shooting at Pulse night club overnight.
Florida Gov has declared a state of emergency. City of Orlando also declared state of emergency.
— Orlando Police (@OrlandoPolice) June 12, 2016
“Tonight our community witnessed a horrific crime… that will have a lasting effect on our community,” a solemn Mayor Buddy Dyer said.
The incident took place at the Pulse Club, in the early hours of Sunday. Staff at the venue posted on Facebook: “Everyone get out of pulse and keep running” and there were quickly reports on social media of an ongoing attack.
More than 100 people were reported to have been enjoying a Latin-themed night in the club, which calls itself the hottest gay bar in the city, when the attack began.
Police Chief Mina said the tragedy began at 2:02 a.m. when a police officer engaged in a gun battle with a suspect outside Pulse, a gay club just south of downtown. A hostage situation then took place and a SWAT team was called in, he said. “At about 5 a.m., a decision was made to rescue hostages,” Mina said.
The New York Daily News has reported that one witness saw “at least two assailants open fire with what sounded like a semi-automatic firearm inside the nightclub and outside the south Orlando venue from a vehicle.”
Several patrons posted on social media that a gunman was holed up inside and was holding hostages.
The police also said that law enforcement carried out a controlled explosion at the scene, without providing details. They are seeking further information from witnesses to assist with the investigation.
According to the Mass Shooting Tracker, there were 372 mass shootings – defined as a single incident that kills or injures four or more people – in the US in 2015. Some 475 people were killed and 1,870 wounded.
The mass shooting comes a day after a gunman shot and killed singer Christina Grimmie at an Orlando concert venue.
How the tragedy unfolded on social media?
Hundreds of concerned citizens took to social media to express their anger, shock and sympathize with the families of the victims of Orlando nightclub shooting.
Some people claim the shooting is an act of terrorism against LGBT community:
US citizens calling for gun control laws after Orlando shooting
Orlando mass shooting has again stirred the gun law debate in United States, calling for stricter gun laws.
This tweet was shared only a day before mass shooting in Orlando after a young singer, Christina Grimmie was shot and killed at Orlando concert:
how many more times are innocent lives going to be taken away until people realize that we need gun laws — Camila Cabello (@camilacabello97) June 11, 2016