Breaking News - updated at 11:45am:
49 people killed, 53 wounded.
Here is what we know:
A gunman opened fire inside Pulse, a gay nightclub in Orlando, killing 49 people and leaving 53 others hospitalized in the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history.
The gunman, who was carrying an assault-style rifle, handgun and possibly an explosive device, is dead after exchanging fire with officers at 5 a.m. He had taken hostages after trying to flee.
The FBI is treating the shooting as an act of terrorism.
The suspect was identified as Omar Mateen, a 29-year-old U.S. citizen whose family is believed to be from Afghanistan. Federal officials are investigating Mateen's possible ties to radical terror organizations.
Witnesses at the club described a chaotic scene.
Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer declared a state of emergency as officials throughout the state asked the public for blood donations.
Blood donation centers are looking for O negative, O positive and A/B donors.
According to the Washington Post, Mateen’s family is from Afghanistan, while Mateen is believed to have been born in the United States. According to CBS News, Mateen had no apparent criminal history.
It was also reported on The Daily Beast website that Mateen had been investigated by the FBI before the shooting. The site quoted "a senior law enforcement official" as its source. According to the source, Mateen was investigated in 2013 and 2014.
NBC News reported that it reached the shooter’s father, who apologized and said his son became very angry a couple months ago after witnessing two men kissing in downtown Miami.
“We are apologizing for the whole incident. We weren’t aware of any action he taking," the father reportedly told NBC. "We are in shock like the whole country. This had nothing to do with religion."
Officials have confirmed that 50 people were killed and 52 wounded. Omar Mateen of Port Saint Luice, Florida has been identified as the gunman who killed 20 people at a Orlando nightclub, CBS News, the Washington Post, and NBC News report, citing law enforcement officials. Mateen is a U.S. citizen; his parents are from Afghanistan.
Mateen was armed with an assault rifle, a handgun, and what was feared to be an improvised explosive device. Mateen entered Pulse club around 2 a.m. Sunday morning and began shooting. After many of the 320 people there escaped, Mateen took hostages from a group that was hiding in a bathroom. Shortly before 6 a.m., a SWAT unit breached the club and engaged Mateen in what's being called a protracted gun battle. Mateen was killed.
Breaking News - Updated at 9:00 AM
Here is what we know so far about the shooting at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando.
According to Orlando Chief of Police John Mina:
The Apopka Voice will update this story as details become available.
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