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At Least 50 Dead In Mass Shooting At Gay Nightclub In Orlando

Source: Gerardo Mora / Getty

The FBI is investigating yesterday’s terror attack at an Orlando, FL club that left 50 dead and 53 injured. It has been declared the worst mass shooting in US history.

Early yesterday morning, a man armed with an assault rifle and a handgun opened fire inside a crowded club called Pulse. The shooter eventually came outside and exchanged fire with at least one officer, then went back inside and took hostages. Orlando police made the call to call in the SWAT team to hopefully prevent further casualties.  They drove through a wall in the club and the shooter was ultimately killed in a gunfight.

The shooter, now identified as 29-year-old Omar Mateen,  at some point yesterday called 911 to pledge his allegiance to ISIS. Mateen was born in NY but moved to FL. Officials aren’t sure yet if he was trained and funded by ISIS, or just inspired by the group, however the FBI has known about him for years. He has been investigated at least twice for possible terrorist ties, but could never find hard evidence against him. Even though he was on a watch list, he was employed as a security guard and recently legally bought the two guns used in the attack.

President Obama declared this an act of terror, noting that, “This is a sobering reminder that attacks on any American — regardless of race, ethnicity, religion or sexual orientation — is an attack on all of us and on the fundamental values of equality and dignity that define us as a country.

Pulse is a popular Orlando gay nightclub and many believe it no coincidence that this attack was carried out during LGBT Pride Month. ISIS leaders called for it’s U.S. supporters to launch attacks during Ramadan, the Islamic Holy Month, which started last week.  However, Christian and Muslim leaders alike have called for prayers and support of our global community and human kindness for all.

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