Vice President Joe Biden has been briefed on the June 12 mass shooting that took place at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida.
“Biden offered his prayers for all those killed and injured in the shooting and sends his condolences to all the families and loved ones of the victims,” a statement from the White House said, according to Reuters.
President Barack Obama was also made aware of what is now being referred to as the worst mass shooting in U.S. history since the death toll has reached 50 people, with another 53 injured, according to the Los Angeles Times.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the families and loved ones of the victims. The President asked to receive regular updates as the FBI, and other federal officials, work with the Orlando Police to gather more information, and directed that the federal government provide any assistance necessary to pursue the investigation and support the community,” the White House said.
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The gunman has been identified as 29-year-old U.S. citizen Omar Mateen of Port St. Lucie, Florida.
He entered Pulse, a gay nightclub, around 2 a.m. with an assault rifle, handgun and another device that may have been explosive.
Mateen, after shooting patrons and taking more than 30 hostages, was killed by police in the nightclub.
Terrorism is being investigated as a motive for the attack, but a law enforcement official said it looks like Mateen acted alone.
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Mateen’s father, Mir Seddique, told NBC News the attack had “nothing to do with religion.”
He thinks it may have been a hate crime because Mateen got angry a few months ago when he saw two men kissing in Miami.
“We are saying we are apologizing for the whole incident,” Seddique said. “We weren’t aware of any action he is taking. We are in shock like the whole country.”