AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack
Islamic Terror in Orlando
A lone gunman armed with an AR-15 rifle, a handgun, and a suspicious device entered an Orlando nightclub and started shooting. The gunman has been identified as Omar Mateen, the American-born son of Afghani immigrants. At least 50 people are dead.
A uniformed Orlando police officer working at the club off-duty first heard gunshots. Omar Mateen was outside with an AR-15, a handgun and an explosive device.
The officer fired at him, police said. Two more officers showed up and opened fire.
Mateen fired back, and walked back into Pulse, trapping dozens of people inside.
A message was posted onto Pulse Orlando’s Facebook page: "Everyone get out of pulse and keep running."
Wolf and his friend hid in the bathroom. Then they heard the gun shots getting closer and decided they had to run.
"All I heard was gunfire after gunfire," Wolf said. "Eventually, I thought you were supposed to run out of ammunition. But it just kept going and going."
Ivory Mcneal was in the club’s patio area when he started hearing the shots.
"People were running everywhere. Gunshots were going off. People were ducking," Mcneal said.
In the three hours that followed, more than 100 law enforcement officers gathered near the club to assess the situation and wait. People were still inside, calling 911 from a bathroom, wanting to be rescued.
Police decided to go in.
They drove an armored vehicle through a wall, breaking their way in. They threw two Distraction Devices, which released loud bangs and bright lights.
Mateen shot at the officers who came into the club. One of the bullets he fired hit an officer’s Kevlar helmet – which likely saved his life.
The officers opened fire. Mateen fell to the ground, dead.
Thirty people were rescued from the club alive, police said. But another 39 people were found dead inside the club, and another two people died outside.
Just after 5 a.m., Brandon Wolf was in a 7-11 parking lot at Orange Avenue and Gore Street. He ran out safely with the friend he was in the club’s bathroom with. A third friend was seen being hoisted onto a gurney, injured.
But the fourth, Drew Leinonen, was still missing.
Wolf had called Drew’s mother, Christine Leinonen, who got out of bed and started driving from Lakeland. She pulled into the parking lot, got out of the car, and ran toward Wolf.
They embraced and cried.
Omar Mir Seddique Mateen is a 29-year-old American-born son of Afghani immigrants. He is from Port St. Lucie, Florida, which is approximately 125 miles from Orlando. He has ties to radical Islam, according to CBS News.
Omar Mirseddique Mateen, the 29-year-old gunman accused of killing dozens of people in Orlando on Sunday, was a security guard, the divorced father of a 3-year-old and, in school, someone who acted "dorky."
He also was an extremist whose outspoken interest in terrorism twice put him on the FBI’s radar screen.
On Sunday morning, he became something far larger: a lone gunman who authorities say was responsible for the deadliest mass shooting in American history.
He grew up in Port St. Lucie. He had no prior arrests in Florida, according to state records.
Brice Miller went to Southport Middle School and St. Lucie West Centennial High School with Mateen and described him as non-violent and someone who was bullied.
Mateen worked as a security guard for G4S, a global security firm under contract with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). G4S is used to transport illegal aliens away from the border.
Mateen’s ex-wife claims he beat her:
The ex-wife of the 29-year-old man who is believed to have killed 50 people in an Orlando nightclub early Sunday said that he was violent and mentally unstable and beat her repeatedly while they were married.
The ex-wife said she met Omar Mateen online about eight years ago and decided to move to Florida and marry him.
At first, the marriage was normal, she said, but then he became abusive.
"He was not a stable person," said the ex-wife, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because she feared for her safety in the wake of the mass shooting. "He beat me. He would just come home and start beating me up because the laundry wasn’t finished or something like that."
Mateen may have ties to Moner Abu Salha, the first American suicide bomber in Syria. Moner posted a video to Facebook of an Iman calling for the death of all homosexuals. The FBI did the investigation in 2015, but came to the conclusion there were no, "substantial" ties together.
PULSE is a high-energy gay dance club located in Orlando, FL. When Mateen began shooting, the club posted on Facebook, "everyone get out of pulse and keep running."
Several hours later, the club posted to Facebook, "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."
President Obama Press Briefing
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