The shooter, Omar Mateen
In what has been labeled the deadliest mass shooting in the United States and terrorist attack since 9/11, Omar Seddique Mateen (29), an American-born man who’d pledged allegiance to ISIS, on Sunday, walked into Pulse club, a gay nightclub in Orlando and shot dead 50 people.
According to CNN, Mateen who had been interviewed in 2013 and 2014 by the FBI but was not found to be a threat then, carried an assault rifle and a pistol into the packed Pulse Club at around 2 a.m. on Sunday and started shooting, killing 50 people and atleast 53 other injured.
After a standoff of about three hours, with dozens taken as hostages inside the club desperately reaching out to friends and relatives through text messages, police crashed the club with an armored vehicle and stun grenades and killed Mateen during an exchange of fire.
According to a U.S. official, the shooter who was a trained security guard and had license to carry a weapon had placed a call to 911 during the attack to pledge allegiance to ISIS and mentioned the Boston Marathon bombers.
However, Mateen’s father Mir Seddique told NBC News that the incident had nothing to do with religion, and may have been triggered by the sight of a gay couple kissing in Miami when he had expressed outrage at seeing two men kiss.
Orlando Police Chief John Min, said “It appears he was organized and well-prepared.” While ISIS hasn’t claimed responsibility for the attack, a message posted in Arabic on a dark web site associated with the ISIS news agency Amaq said “the armed attack that targeted a gay night club in the city of Orlando in the American state of Florida and that bore more than a 100 killed and wounded was carried out by an Islamic state fighter.”
Pulse, which describes itself as the “hottest gay bar” in the heart of Orlando had earlier that evening encouraged partygoers to attend its Latin flavor event on Saturday night.
This incidence comes just as Orlando is still mourning the death of 22-year-old singer Christina Grimme who was shot dead on Friday night at a concert in the city.
Written by Olufunke Edidi
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