A gunman who opened fire at a crowded, well-known Florida night club is dead and there have been several people wounded, police said Sunday.
Orlando Police said the shooter inside the club is dead and the incident has been declared a “mass-casualty” event. It wasn’t immediately known how the shooter died, or how many people were wounded in the shooting.
Officials are expected to hold a press conference at 7 a.m.
Police reported “multiple injuries” following the shooting at Pulse Orlando, a popular gay bar and dance club. People were told to stay away from the area.
Dozens of police vehicles, including a SWAT team, swarmed the area around the club. At least two police pickup trucks were seen taking what appeared to be shooting victims to the Orlando Regional Medical Center.
The Orlando Sentinel reported that several emergency vehicles have responded to the scene, including the Orlando Fire Department’s bomb squad and hazardous materials team.
Police said via Twitter that a noise heard near the shooting site was a “controlled explosion.” No other details were provided.
Pulse Orlando posted on its own Facebook page around 2 a.m.: “Everyone get out of pulse and keep running.” Just before 6 a.m., the club posted an update: “As soon as we have any information we will update everyone. Please keep everyone in your prayers as we work through this tragic event. Thank you for your thoughts and love.”
Police said local, state and federal agencies were investigating.
Orlando Regional Medical Center said in a statement it is on lockdown after receiving several gunshot victims and is only allowing essential workers into his hospital.
Arnold Palmer Hospital and Winnie Palmer Hospital have been placed on lockdown.
Javier Antonetti, 53, told the Sentinel he was towards the back of the club on a night out with his brother when he heard the shots ring out.
“There were so many, at least 40,” he said. “I saw two guys and it was constant, like ‘pow, pow, pow,’ ” Antonetti said.
He said he ran out of the club and said his brother, who was on crutches, was stuck inside the building. He said his brother is uninjured but still near the club.
Jon Alamo said he was at the back of one of the club’s rooms when a man holding a weapon came into the front of the room.
“I heard 20, 40, 50 shots,” Alamo said. “The music stopped.”
Club-goer Rob Rick said it happened around, 2 a.m., just before closing time.
“Everybody was drinking their last sip,” he said.
Update (Constantine XI): UK Daily Mail: Suspected Islamic extremist shoots dead at least 20 dead at Florida gay club after bursting in ‘wearing a suicide vest’ and taking hostages – injuring a further 42 – before he is killed in shootout
Update (Constantine XI): Promoted to Main Blog since this is clearly the most important breaking news of today.
Update (Constantine XI): Was wearing a suicide vest.
Update (Constantine XI): Pamela Geller comments on the attack:
Where is gay leadership? Condemning me or my colleagues who oppose the most brutal and extreme ideology on the face of the earth.
Where are the left-wing, the gay and LGBT organizations denouncing the Islamic texts that inspire such mayhem and murder of gays? Where is that fierce gay leadership condemning Muslim oppression of gays under the sharia? The silence is deafening.
They were loud and proud against our ads. They were holding press conferences condemning me. Gay organizations in America say nothing about this, but loudly condemned my ad campaign highlighting Muslim oppression of gays under the sharia. Why haven’t we heard from this City Council, or this Human Rights Commission, SFHRC head Theresa Sparks, but most especially the enemedia that scrubs their coverage of motive? They called our ads hate and issued a resolution condemning our AFDI ad campaign (the first of its kind) against our organization for merely quoting Muslim political leaders, spiritual leaders and cultural voices in the Muslim community who call for the torture and death of gay people.
Where is the outrage about the root causes of this murderous attack?
Update (Constantine XI): Fox News Feed Live
Update (Constantine XI): Donald Trump’s tweet. Also there is supposed to be another news conference at 9:30. The live feed I posted above should carry it.
Really bad shooting in Orlando. Police investigating possible terrorism. Many people dead and wounded.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 12, 2016
Update (Constantine XI): The muzzie has been named
Law enforcement sources told CBS News the gunman has been identified as Omar Mateen, a U.S. citizen from Port St. Lucie. Mateen was born to Afghan parents.
Update (Constantine XI) 9:32 The Hildabeast Tweets:
Woke up to hear the devastating news from FL. As we wait for more information, my thoughts are with those affected by this horrific act. -H
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) June 12, 2016
Update (Constantine XI) 9:37
— Nicole Emmett (@Nicole_Emmett) June 12, 2016
Update (Constantine XI) 10:20: ISIS issued threat to Florida 3 Days Ago
Major Muslim Terrorists Makes This Declaration To All Americans: We Are Coming After You, We Will Attack Florida And Slaughter Americans There
By Theodore Shoebat
ISIS Muslim terrorists released a statement on their plan to attack Florida, and even put out a list with the names of people in Florida that they plan on killing. According to one report:
A pro-Isis group has released a hit list with the names of more than 8,000 peoplemostly Americans.
More than 600-people live in Florida, and one security expert believes that many of those targeted live in Palm Beach County and on the Treasure Coast.
The “United Cyber Caliphate” that hacked U.S. Central Command, 54,000 Twitter accounts and threatened President Barack Obama is the same pro-Isis group that’s reportedly created a “kill list” with the names, addresses and emails of thousands of civilian Americans.
Reports of the list came to light online when Vocativ reported the list was shared via the encrypted app, Telegram, and called on supporters to kill.
Former FBI agent-turned lawyer Stuart Kaplan says the threat is especially alarming, because the people on this list are civilians who don’t have the security necessary to protect themselves.
“It’s going to create some hysteria,” he said.
Kaplan believes civilians from our community are on the list.
“I would suspect a head of a hospital or, perhaps, a local community leader. Those are the individuals that may appear on the list–or just a local banker or local school teacher–someone who, for some reason, was in the public eye.”
Kaplan is concerned the list will inspire “lone wolf” style attacks.
“If in fact a sympathizer gets ahold of this list and is readily able to identify you as being his neighbor and, then, decides (because they’re a sympathizer) to go out and do something horrific to you, there is no way to calculate the potential or to prevent that.”
The list has not yet been made public.
We reached out to the FBI, the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office and Martin County Sheriff’s Office to see how credible they view the threat and what action they might be taking.
We are awaiting their response.
According to the Martin County Sheriffs office,the FBI is aware of this and the agency will work closely with the Joint-Terrorism Task Force to keep citizens safe.
Update (Constantine XI) 10:25: Listening to Fox, the mayor of Orlando just said there are 50 dead. 53 injured in the hospital. This is the largest deadly terrorist islamic attack on the United States since 9/11/01
Update (Doomberg) 11:45: Apparently, the father of this maniac is running for President of Afghanistan! h/t to Weaselzippers and commenter GaryinAZ:
Update (Doomberg) 11:53: Frank Gaffney has a good take up at Breitbart. An excerpt:
The FBI reportedly suspects that the shooter may have “leanings towards radical Islamic terrorism.” Some accounts indicate that he was, like so many so-called “lone wolves,” actually a “known wolf” – a jihadist already identified as a potential threat by authorities, but allowed to continue to operate.
Now that latitude appears to have translated into the murder and wounding of dozens of gay people, an action consistent with the teachings of the totalitarian Islamic supremacist doctrine known as sharia, which requires its adherents to hate and kill homosexuals.
A posting last night at CounterJihad.com shows that the genesis of this practice is found in a hadith which has Muhammad saying that “whomever you find doing the actions of the people of Lot, kill the one doing it, and the one it is done to.” While the authorities of Islam disagree about what is the preferred way to kill gays and lesbians – throwing them off buildings, hanging them, burning them alive – there is no question but that murdering them is sanctioned by sharia.
As it happens, in 2013, an Islamic supremacist named Sheikh Farrokh Sekaleshfar made this point in a speech at the Husseini Islamic Center in Sanford, Florida – about 20 miles from Orlando and two hours drive from Mateen’s home in Port St. Lucie. It is unclear at this writing whether the shooter was associated with this mosque or aware of this particular exhortation to kill homosexuals. But if indeed he was a sharia-adherent Muslim, there is no doubt that he was aware that his duty was to take homophobia to its murderous extreme.
It is absolutely predictable that Muslim Brotherhood front organizations like the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) will shortly denounce this act of violence, insist that it has nothing to do with Islam, and lowball any ties the perpetrator may have had to one or more Orlando area mosques. Instead, they will try to deflect attention to those they accuse of “Islamophobia” for connecting the obvious – and ominous – dots. In fact, CAIR has scheduled a press conference on Tuesday at its headquarters in Washington for the purpose of defaming American patriots who oppose the Islamist agenda and those, like the Muslim Brotherhood with its pre-violent “civilization jihad,” who are enabling violent jihadists, here and elsewhere.
Update (Doomberg) 12:07: Trump has more to say:
Horrific incident in FL. Praying for all the victims & their families. When will this stop? When will we get tough, smart & vigilant?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 12, 2016
Update (Doomberg) 12:16: Hillbuzz’s Kevin DuJan, a gay conservative and former Hillary backer from 2008, has posted a good take. h/t to M. Simon for the tip:
I notice CNN is doing whatever it can to NOT identify the shooter as Muslim. Pay attention to this happening in other news reports too. See how the media lies to the public (much like the Ministry of Truth — MiniTru — in 1984). Reporters do not want to ever identify a terrorist as Muslim. This is an especially dicey attack for the media because it is a Muslim-on-gay attack. Expect more of these in the years ahead as the US government pushes to import more Muslim colonists to our shores (by calling them “refugees” or “migrants” and not what they truly are…Islamic colonists engaged in demographic and immigration jihad).
When a group of people come to a new place but refuse to assimilate, leave behind their old ways, and embrace the culture of their new home they are colonists and not refugees, migrants, or immigrants. Calling them anything else but COLONISTS is foolish. Establishing a colony in a new country, growing that colony (centered around a mosque), and then asserting sovereignty over and hostility towards the culture surrounding the colony is Islamic colonization. This is happening now. Westerners are foolish to live in the unicorn-and-rainbow-sprinkles-utopia where they believe that “Islam is a religion of peace” (thank you, George W. Bush, for vomiting out that phrase for the first time) and that Muslims will ever abandon their allegiance to a death cult.
In Chicago in 2012, the FBI stopped another Muslim from blowing up a Chicago bar that it appears the Muslim believed was a gay bar (it wasn’t, but the Muslim colonist did not understand this). Remember that? The media barely talked about it at the time, just as it swept under the rug other Muslim terror attempts in Chicago over the years. How many similar attacks were stopped around the country that we never knew about? Since Muslims do not assimilate into a melting pot when they come to America and instead freeze themselves into tee-vee dinner style colonies (bypassing the “salad bowl” model of “diversity!” and insisting on little pockets that are segregated and sealed off from the rest of our society, like the partitioned sections of a tee-vee dinner), young male Muslims seem determined to lash out at and attack the things about America they don’t like and wish were more like the hellholes they left in the Middle East.