Suspected Terrorist Kills 20 In Orlando Gay Nightclub


Update: Latest death count stands at 50 people, according to CNN.

Original Story: The suspect who opened fire in an gay Orlando, Florida, nightclub and killed 20 people on June 12 has been identified, and authorities believe he has extremist leanings.

The gunman was identified as Omar Mateen, a U.S. citizen in his 20s, the Daily Mail reports. Mateen, born to Afghan parents in New York, was reportedly carrying a suspicious device when he entered Pulse nightclub. 

The nightclub took to Facebook when the shooting began, urging clubgoers to “get out and keep running.” Bullets began flying around 2 a.m. local time. The gunman exchanged fire with an officer who was working inside the club, and then proceeded to take hostages inside the club. 

Around 5 a.m., police used an explosive device to distract the gunman and rescue about 30 people. At 6 a.m., police tweeted that the gunman had been shot dead.

Clubgoer Christopher Hansen said gunshots rang out “just one after another after another," according to CNN.

A few miles from the club, a local hospital was placed on lockdown, with only essential personnel allowed to access the building. 

The shooting occurred a few miles from the Plaza Live theater, where 22-year-old YouTube star and "The Voice" contestant Christina Grimmie was shot and killed on June 10.

Sources: Daily Mail, CNN / Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons

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