ACTIVE Shooter Reported At Pulse Orlando Nightclub
PopWrapped will continue to update this story, throughout the day, as more details emerge.
LIST OF DECEASED VICTIMS: (As Updated By Orlando Police Department)
The below list of individuals includes victims who have lost their lives during the early morning incident, and next of kin have been contacted. As we continue to reach out to the families of victims, we will continue to update this post.
Edward Sotomayor Jr., 34 years old
Stanley Almodovar III, 23 years old
Luis Omar Ocasio-Capo, 20 years old
Juan Ramon Guerrero, 22 years old
Eric Ivan Ortiz-Rivera, 36 years old
Peter O. Gonzalez-Cruz, 22 years old
Luis S. Vielma, 22 years old
Kimberly Morris, 37 years old
Eddie Jamoldroy Justice, 30 years old
Darryl Roman Burt II, 29 years old
Deonka Deidra Drayton, 32 years old
Alejandro Barrios Martinez, 21 years old
Anthony Luis Laureanodisla, 25 years old
Jean Carlos Mendez Perez, 35 years old
Franky Jimmy Dejesus Velazquez, 50 years old
Amanda Alvear, 25 years old
Martin Benitez Torres, 33 years old
Luis Daniel Wilson-Leon, 37 years old
Mercedez Marisol Flores, 26 years old
Xavier Emmanuel Serrano Rosado, 35 years old
Gilberto Ramon Silva Menendez, 25 years old
Simon Adrian Carrillo Fernandez, 31 years old
Oscar A Aracena-Montero, 26 years old
Enrique L. Rios, Jr., 25 years old
Miguel Angel Honorato, 30 years old
Javier Jorge-Reyes, 40 years old
Joel Rayon Paniagua, 32 years old
Jason Benjamin Josaphat, 19 years old
Cory James Connell, 21 years old
Juan P. Rivera Velazquez, 37 years old
Luis Daniel Conde, 39 years old
Shane Evan Tomlinson, 33 years old
Juan Chevez-Martinez, 25 years old
Jerald Arthur Wright, 31 years old
Leroy Valentin Fernandez, 25 years old
Tevin Eugene Crosby, 25 years old
Jonathan Antonio Camuy Vega, 24 years old
Jean C. Nives Rodriguez, 27 years old
Rodolfo Ayala-Ayala, 33 years old
Brenda Lee Marquez McCool, 49 years old
Yilmary Rodriguez Solivan, 24 years old
Christopher Andrew Leinonen, 32 years old
Angel L. Candelario-Padro, 28 years old
Frank Hernandez, 27 years old
Paul Terrell Henry, 41 years old
Antonio Davon Brown, 29 years old
Christopher Joseph Sanfeliz, 24 years old
Akyra Monet Murray, 18 years oldUPDATE: (JUNE 13, 2016 - 4:00pm) An online fundraising page set up to support victims and their families has soared to $2.2 million in 24 hours. More than 51,000 people have donated to the gofundme.org page Support Victims of Pulse Shooting. The page also steers visitors to http://www.eqfl.org/news/pulse to get more information on vigils, counseling, and blood drives happening across the state. According to gofundme.org, the campaign is now the most successful fundraising effort in the site's history.
Photos have been released of the FBI and others investigating Pulse nightclub today. Photos are courtesy of Orlando PD.
ISIS has claimed responsibility for the shooting according to Reuters.
Islamic State's Amaq news agency declared, "The armed attack that targeted a gay night club in the city of Orlando in the American state of Florida which left over 100 people dead or injured was carried out by an Islamic State fighter."
The shooting at Pulse is now the worst mass shooting in U.S. history, with 50 people reported dead and 53 more injured.
The gunman has been identified as Omar Saddiqui Mateen, a U.S. citizen born in 1986 in New York who lived in St. Lucie, Florida; his parents came to the U.S. from Afghanistan. He had a Glock pistol, which he, allegedly, purchased in the past couple of weeks, and an assault rifle.
The gunman reportedly called 911 about 20 minutes before the shooting, and pledged allegiance to ISIS. According to CNN, the FBI had investigated Mateen at some point for possible ties with Islamic extremism. Apparently, even if two cases were opened by law enforcement involving Mateen, there was not enough evidence to charge him.
Law enforcement has spoken with the shooter's family; his father indicated he had conveyed homophobic feelings when a few weeks ago he saw a gay couple kissing.
Buddy Dyer, the Mayor of Orlando, had declared a state of emergency for the city, while Florida Governor, Rick Scott, declared a state of emergency for Orange County.
A few minutes ago, President Obama addressed the nation - once again as he has had to do while in office way too many times - and said that while law enforcement was still investigating the crime, "we know enough to say this was an act of terror and an act of hate."
He stated that the massacre was a reminder of "how easy it for someone to get their hands on a weapon." He added, "We have to decide if that's the kind of country we want to be. And to do nothing is a decision as well," obviously calling for stricter gun control.
You can watch his full statement here:
Orlando Regional Medical Center has also issued a statement:
"We have 43 admissions currently; we have done a total of 26 operations today on victims. We are continuing to identify patient injuries. We have identified all 44 patients at the hospital and are currently working on reuniting patients with their families. We have identified life-threatening injuries and will continue to treat injuries that are not life-threatening. The first victims started arriving immediately after 2 a.m. One trauma surgeon is always available here around the clock. He called in two more surgeons initially and when we saw the volume of victims we brought in a total of six surgeons. Wounds were from an assault rifle to the trunk, extremities, and abdomen. 44 adults were admitted, with 9 patient deaths since admission."
Authorities have put the death toll at 50.
Authorities are saying that the suspect was not "from this area," and came to the nightclub "organized and well prepared" to kill and maim.
OPD will issue another round of updates at 9:30am.
Law enforcement officials are putting the number of dead at "approximately 20," inside the club. They are also not ruling out the possibility of more dead at local trauma units.
Authorities are calling this a clear case of "terrorism," but refused to speculate further.
The injured officer is expected to fully recover, with an injury to his head. His Kevlar helmet is said to have saved him.
Orlando Police Department has informed us that there are multiple dead inside Pulse Orlando Nightclub, but have refused to provide an exact number. More than 40 victims are gravely injured, and being treated at local trauma units. The shooter was killed by law enforcement officials, after taking multiple hostages, which he repeatedly threatened to kill. According to OPD, they do not suspect that anyone else was involved in the carnage.
Orlando Regional Medical Center has set up a meeting area for families who believe they have a loved one being treated at the hospital. Bring your photo ID, and come to the Main Entrance, at the North Tower. The hospital is under a full-lock down, aside from immediate family members, wishing to attend to victims.
Robots are currently sweeping the Pulse Orlando Nightclub, searching for explosive devices. Sources are telling us that the scene of the club is "devastating," with evidence of "mass carnage" everywhere. Windows are missing, and personal property, blood, bullets, and evidence of explosion are everywhere. There were so many victims, that many of them were sent to children's hospitals, as there weren't enough resources at Orlando Regional Medical Center.
A K9 Bomb check of Southern Nights Nightclub has been completed, and is ALL-CLEAR. We are still awaiting an ALL-CLEAR for Parliament House Nightclub. There is still a 1000 foot perimeter around Pulse Nightclub, while authorities continue their sweep of the building, for explosive devices.
Portable Orlando Regional Medical Units, on scene are being dismantled, and some of the officers are being released. All Orlando Fire Department trucks are being released back into service. The command center is still active outside the club.
Orlando Fire Department is preparing to clear (leave) the scene, as there are no more victims at the club to attend to.
Bomb Squads are attending to downed suspect, to check for any additional explosive devices. Bomb Squads are also heading to do a full sweep of Southern Nights Nightclub, and Parliament House Nightclub in Orlando, as an additional precaution.
Orange County Fire and Rescue are requesting a 1000 foot perimeter, around a van parked in the club parking lot, suspected to contain explosives. A visual check of the van revealed a large amount of ammunition. There are no more victims inside the club. Only the suspect and authorities remain inside the club.
SUSPECT HAS BEEN KILLED BY AUTHORITIES. Scene is being secured.
SWAT Team is checking the building for bombs. Multiple trauma patients are being transported out of the club in Fire Trucks, as all available ambulances have been sent out. Emergency triages have been set up all over town, to handle victims.
Orlando Police Department is using pickup trucks to transport dozens of victims to Orlando Regional Medical Center. The scene is not considered safe yet, and SWAT Teams are conducting a full sweep of the building.
Fire and Rescue have been requested immediately to assist with an officer with gunshot injuries.
Authorities are reporting multiple shots fired in the North Bathroom of the club, and that the scene is not secure. Orlando Fire Department are being told to take cover, as well as all other rescue units. Police and SWAT teams are being told to take cover behind their vehicles immediately.
The SWAT Team has made contact with the suspect, and authorities are getting ready to bring remaining victims and hostages out of the building for medical attention and questioning. It is unclear to whether or not the suspect has been apprehended or killed, at this time.
The SWAT Team has detonated a Breach Charge, in an attempt to disarm the suspect. Perimeter units behind are being told to "stand down." No confirmation if authorities have made contact with the suspect.
45 total victims have been transported to local hospitals, as of now. 42 to Orlando Regional Medical Center, and 3 to Florida South.
The FBI is now on scene. Patrons are said to be still using extreme measures to escape the club, including crawling outside, through the air conditioning vents.
Suspect is still alive, and holding at least 4 hostages. SWAT Teams and Police Officers are communicating with suspect for hostage release.
Patrons being questioned, or treated near the club are being evacuated, and many injured being brought out of the club, as the presence of an explosive device has been confirmed. Orlando Police Officers and the SWAT Team are using all available resources to secure the premises, and clear the area. Over 200 officers are currently on scene, with additional officers being deployed to area hospitals for added security. Police are on scene at every corner surrounding local hospitals, including the back and side streets with assault rifles drawn, and ready.
Orlando Police Department are reporting that at least 24 people have been shot, with at least 7 dead.
Orlando Police Department are still receiving texts from victims and patrons trapped inside the club. Civilians are still trapped in the bathrooms and dressing rooms. Shooter is reportedly loading a gun, with bombs strapped to him.
There is a van parked under the Pulse Orlando awning, with visible ammo inside. Bomb sniffing dogs have alerted to the vehicle. Perimeter officers are taking cover. The suspect is still held up inside the club.
At around 2am EST, a suspect engaged in a gun fight with an off-duty police officer outside of Pulse Orlando Nightclub, located at 1912 S Orange Ave, Orlando, Florida, retreated into the nightclub, and began rapidly shooting into the packed venue, which contained more than 350 people. Reports from employees, and patrons inside, put the victims at over 20, with 2 reportedly dead. Several employees are still hiding inside, and the SWAT Team is said to be attempting to clearing the club. At least two employees of the club have been reportedly shot.
Bomb squads have been sent to the scene, as the shooter has reportedly barricaded himself in the bathroom, with hostages, threatening to detonate an explosive device.
ORMC, the same hospital that Christina Grimmie was taken to, just yesterday, is no longer accepting patients, unless their injuries are life-threatening, as they are nearing max capacity.
Pulse Orlando staff posted the following update, just after the shooting began, urging people to get out of the club, and to keep running:
"Everyone get out of pulse and keep running"
The gunshots echoed beyond the club.
Jose Torres was clocking in to work at the Dunkin' Donuts across the street when he heard them.
"It was something that I never heard before," Torres said. "I had to run inside the store, and I saw just a lot of people screaming, crying. Just screaming and coming out running like crazy."
Torres said he ducked into the Dunkin' Donuts and called 911 as several people dashed out of the club, bleeding. Police and SWAT teams rushed to the scene.
Ricardo Negron Almodovar said he was in the club when the shooting started about 2 a.m. He barely escaped.
"People on the dance floor and bar got down on the floor and some of us who were near the bar and back exit managed to go out through the outdoor area and just ran,"
he posted on the club's Facebook page.
"I am safely home and hoping everyone gets home safely as well."
This is an active crime scene, and PopWrapped will continue to update with details, as they become available.