UPDATE: Orlando mayor has confirmed 50 casulaties and 53 injured in Sunday morning's shooting.
At least 20 people are dead and 42 are injured after a gunman opened fire inside an Orlando nightclub early Sunday morning.
CNN.com reports that police have shot and killed the unidentified gunman after dealing with a hostage situation.
The shooting at Pulse nightclub reportedly began around 2 a.m. when the gunman engaged in a shootout with police. He then broke into the club.
“It's [sic] appears he was organized and well-prepared," said Orlando police chief John Mina, adding that the gunman had an assault weapon and a handgun.
Clubgoers were seen carrying injured partiers out of the club.
Anthony Torres, who was at the club with friends, stated, "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.”
Torres added that he saw over 70 cop cars arrive at the scene before he got safely home.
Jose Torres, who was coming into work at the Dunkin Donuts across the street later Sunday morning, said he could still hear gunshots coming from the club.
"It was something that I never heard before. 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."
Although details are still emerging, police have said that the shooting was an act of domestic terrorism and that the FBI is involved.
Pulse bills itself as “the hottest gay bar” in Orlando, and on the night of the shooting had invited partiers to attend its “Latin flavor” event.
Photo courtesy: flickr.com
Publication date: June 12, 2016
Veronica Neffinger wrote her first poem at age seven and went on to study English in college, focusing on 18th century literature. When she is not listening to baseball games, enjoying the outdoors, or reading, she can be found mostly in Richmond, VA writing primarily about nature, nostalgia, faith, family, and Jane Austen.