By Sam Ouga
USA terror attack at Orlando gay club Pulse leaves at least 50 people dead, 53 others wounded; gunman dead following hours-long standoff with police
The shooting started at 2am ET. Police describe the incident as an act of domestic terrorism. The shooter, Omar Mateen, was confirmed dead shortly before 6am ET.
The makes it the biggest domestic mass shooting incident in USA mainland.
Police bombarded the club with a “controlled explosion” to distract the shooter and rescue about 30 hostages hiding in bathrooms. Nine officers fatally shot at the suspect armed with an assault-type rifle, a handgun and “some type of device.”
A bullet struck an officer’s Kevlar helmet that police Chief John Mina cited for saving the cop’s life during the gun battle.
An officer working at the nightclub was first to confront the unidentified shooter outside the club as about 320 people partied inside. The attacker moved his assault indoors, opened fire and took hostages as terrified club goers fled.
The shooting happened during Pride Month, a national LGBT celebration honoring the Stonewall riots in 1969. The club hosted a “Latin Night” on Saturday, according to its Facebook page.
The shooter, Omar Mateen was a security guard working for a private security company. He was a US born citizen. Parents were from Afghanistan.