3 min read

The world is shocked at the brutal killing of 50 innocent people at a gay nightclub in Orlando Florida.

We greave with those family and friends that have loved ones caught up in the tragedy including the more than 50 injured.

We are praying for Orlando.

To get a full account of the tragedy below is a current report from the BBC as to what has happened and the responses by authorities.


Fifty people are now known to have died in a shooting in a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, the city’s mayor Buddy Dyer has said.

imageThe gunman, named by officials as Omar Mateen, was killed after taking hostages at the Pulse club.

President Barack Obama said Americans were united in grief, outrage and “resolve to defend our people” after “an act of terror and an act of hate”.

The attack is the worst mass shooting in recent US history.

A nationwide moment of silence will be held at 18:00 local time (22:00 GMT).

Condemnation

Mr Obama described the attack as “the brutal murder of dozens of innocent people”.

“It was an act of terror and an act of hate,” he said, adding that it was a heartbreaking day for the LGBT community.

An attack on any American was an attack on all, he added. “We are united in grief, in outrage and resolve to defend our people.”

Mr Obama has ordered flags on federal buildings to be flown at half mast until sunset on Thursday.

imageFrench President Francois Hollande expressed “horror” at the killings, and said Americans had the “full support of France” in this “difficult time”.

Pope Francis condemned the “homicidal folly” of the shooting.

The suspect, who was a US citizen from the Florida town of Port St Lucie and was of Afghan descent, was not on a terrorism watch list.

However, officials revealed that the FBI had twice interviewed Omar Mateen in 2013-14 after he made “inflammatory remarks” to a colleague. But the investigation was closed.

The death toll of 50 given by Mayor Dyer means that the Orlando attack surpasses the 2007 massacre at Virginia Tech which left 32 people dead.
Another 53 people were injured in the shooting.

“Today we’re dealing with something that we never imagined and is unimaginable,” he said, adding that there was “an enormous amount of havoc” and “blood everywhere”.

“Because of the scale of the crime I’ve asked the [Florida] governor to declare a state of emergency,” he said.

“We’re also issuing a state of emergency for the city of Orlando so that we can bring additional resources to bear to deal with the aftermath.”

Security has also been boosted for the last day of the Capital Pride LGBT festival in Washington DC, which included a moment of silence for the Orlando victims at 13:00 local time, the Washington Post reported.

A gay pride parade has also been taking place in West Hollywood, Los Angeles. The city’s mayor said police in the nearby city of Santa Monica had arrested a heavily armed man who said he was going to the parade.

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