The man who shot and killed 49 people at a gay night club in Orlando on Sunday, pledged his allegiance to ISIS right before he opened fire.
The gunman, Omar Mateen, 29, was American born and lived in Fort Pierce, Florida. Back in 2013 and 2014 he was interviewed by the FBI but was not found to be a threat, the FBI said.
Early Sunday, Mateen carried an assault rifle along with a pistol into Pulse club. He shot and killed 49 people while wounding at least 53, officials said. The tragedy lasted about 3 hours until the Orlando police crashed an armored car into the building. Inside, they shot and killed Mateen.
Marteen immediately took responsibility and announced his allegiance to ISIS. According to a U.S official, Mateen called 911 during the attack to pledge allegiance to ISIS and also mentioned the Boston Marathon bombers.
“It appears he was organized and well-prepared,” Orlando Police Chief John Mina said early Sunday.
There have been many horrific descriptions and accounts of what took place that evening by survivors. One of the women survivors said she hid in the bathroom and covered herself with bodies to protect herself.
Thirty-nine people and Mateen were pronounced dead at the scene. Two bodies found in the parking lot, according to Mayor Buddy Dyer said. Eleven people were taken to hospitals and pronounced dead there, he said.
The attack has been labeled a hate crime, and people everywhere have spoken up about their sorrow, grief, and anger – including President Obama. The owner of Pulse nightclub, Barbara Poma, released the following statement on Sunday:
“Like everyone in the country, I am devastated about the horrific events that have taken place today. Pulse, and the men and women who work there, have been my family for nearly 15 years. From the beginning, Pulse has served as a place of love and acceptance for the LGBTQ community. I want to express my profound sadness and condolences to all who have lost loved ones. Please know that my grief and heart are with you.”