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What we know about Omar Mateen, suspected Orlando nightclub shooter

12 Junio 2016

He has declared the city of Orlando to be in a state of emergency. Police confirmed at a news conference Sunday that the two incidents were not related.

He also says the shooter used an assault rifle on all those dead.

The gunman has been identified as Omar Siddiqui Mateen, a US citizen of Afghan descent living in Port St. Lucie, Florida.

'We are saying we are apologising for the whole incident. Bernie Sanders, the Democratic presidential candidate, speaking on NBC's "Meet the Press".

"I woke up to texts this morning asking if I was okay". "I wish I knew".

Orlando Police officers direct family members away from a multiple shooting at a nightclub in Orlando, Fla., Sunday, June 12, 2016.

One of the club's founders and owners, Barbara Poma, opened it in 2004 in an effort to keep alive the spirit of her brother, who died after battling HIV.

Mina said the gunman appeared organized and well-prepared for the incident.

Mr. Mina said about 30 people were rescued during the operation.

Police deemed the attack an act of terrorism, and sources told NBC News Mateen pledged allegiance to ISIS in a 911 call shortly before the shooting.

"This is an incident, as I see it, that we certainly classify as domestic terror incident", Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings said. When asked whether the suspect had a connection to radical Islamic terrorism, he said that they have "suggestions that the individual might have leanings toward that ideology", without providing details. Mina later clarified that the noise was caused by a device meant to distract the shooter. The mass shooting comes barely a day after singer Christina Grimmie, known for being a finalist on The Voice, was shot and killed at the Plaza Live Theater in Orlando. After additional officers engaged the suspect, the gunman retreated into the nightclub and began to take the patrons hostage.

"After three or four months she was abused by him and then we went and picked her up from there", the ex-wife's father told the Daily News at a New Jersey home.

Terrified survivors described how the gunman raked the club with bullets, prompting a police SWAT team to storm the venue.

Obama was briefed on the shooting by Lisa Monaco, Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism, the White House said in a statement.

"As soon as we have any information we will update everyone", the club later posted to Facebook. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families and loved ones of the victims.

Anthony Torres, who was at the club, said he and his friends were leaving the club when the shots were fired just after the last call, as the club was nearing closing time.

He has been identified as Omar Saddiqui Mateen, 29, of Fort Pierce, about 120 miles southeast of Orlando, two law enforcement officials tell CNN. "There were so many (shots), at least 40", he said.

He said Mateen was in his late 20s.

Mina initially estimated the death toll at more than 20 people. A bouncer knocked down a partition between the club area and an area in the back where only workers are allowed.

Check back with Wetpaint for more on this developing story. He saw the wounded being tended to across the street. "I just saw bodies going down".

"It's just shocking", said Hansen, who crawled to safety. "I express my solidarity to the American people and its authorities in this bad ordeal". "I wasn't sure if it was the music, because ... it went with the beat nearly until you heard just too many shots".

The Human Rights Campaign says it has lowered its flag to half-mast. "We have got to do everything that we can on top of that to make sure that guns do not fall into the hands of people who should not have them, criminals, people who are mentally ill". Any possible link Mateen had to extremists is unclear.

Other politicians started responding when it was first believed that there were 20 fatalities, but officials have now reported that at least 50 people were killed and 53 others were treated for injuries.