A gunman who may have pledged allegiance to ISIS opened fire early Sunday morning in a packed Orlando nightclub, killing 50 people and wounding at least 53 more in a bloody scene that ended hours later when police stormed the building and killed the shooter.
Omar Mateen was identified as the gunman in the Orlando nightclub shooting. (Orlando Police) ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack Sunday afternoon via its Amaq news agency, Reuters reported. Amaq said an "Islamic State fighter" carried out the assault. It was not clear, however, if the shooting was actually directed by the terror group or only inspired by it. The attack in Orlando at Pulse, which bills itself as "the hottest gay bar" in the city and was packed with more than 300 people for "Latin Night," was reported minutes after 2 a.m. Sunday.
Dozens of partygoers remained hostage in the club for several hours after the initial shooting, prompting SWAT teams to rush inside. Shortly after 6 a.m. local time, Orlando police tweeted that the gunman had been killed. Authorities said there was not believed to be any further threat to the area.
"We know enough to say this was an act of terror and an act of hate," President Obama said in a speech from the White House on Sunday, cautioning that it was still early in the investigation.