President Barack Obama has been briefed on the mass shooting that took place at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida, on June 12 and the White House issued the following statement:
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.
At least 50 people are confirmed dead, making this the worst mass shooting in U.S. history, ABC News reports.
Fifty-three more people have been hospitalized.
“There’s blood everywhere,” Mayor Buddy Dyer said at a June 12 morning news conference.
The shooter, Omar Mateen of Port St. Lucie, Florida, entered Pulse nightclub around 2 a.m. with an assault-type rifle, a handgun and some sort of device that was reportedly strapped to his body.
"Because of the scale of the crime I've asked the governor to declare a state of emergency,” Dyer said, according to BBC News. “We're also issuing a state of emergency for the city of Orlando so that we can bring additional resources to bear to deal with the aftermath."
It is unknown whether Mateen had ties to Jihadist terror groups.
"At this time we're looking at all angles right now," an FBI official said. "We do have suggestions that that individual may have leanings towards that, that particular ideology. But right now we can’t say definitively, so we’re still running everything around.”
The mass shooting is being investigated as an act of terrorism, either domestic or international, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement said.
Mateen was killed in the nightclub by police.