WASHINGTON, DC (WBRE/WYOU) – President Barack Obama addressed the nation at approximately 1:30pm EDT in the wake of the worst mass shooting in American history.
50 people are known dead, more than 50 others were wounded at the shooting around 2:00 a.m. Sunday morning in the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, FL.
The shooter, identified as 29 year old Omar Mateen, was shot and killed by police. Mateen made a phone call moments before the shooting, called 911, pledging his allegience to the head of ISIS. Mateen first appeared on the FBI’s “terror watch list” after making statements supporting radical Islam, but had not been watched closely since that time.
Mateen had a legal firearms license, and reportedly used an AR-15 type assault weapon and and handgun was also found. He was a US citizen, born in New York.
Speaking to the nation, the president said “We stand with the people of Orlando who have endured a terrible attack on their city. It’s early in the investigation but it’s fair to say this was an outbreak of terror.”
“We are still learning all the facts, we’ve reached no definitive information on the purpose. The FBI is investigating this as an act of terror. What is clear is that he was a person filled with hatred, in the coming days will uncover why this happened. “
It’s the 15th time the president has issued a serious statement following a tragic, multiple or mass shooting since taking office.
“This could have been any one of our communities,” said the president. “This is an especially heartbreaking day for our friends and fellow Americans who are gay, lesbian, transgender. The place where they were attacked is more than a nightclub, it was a place of solidarity. This is a sobering reminder that attacks on any American regardless of race, color or sexual orientation is an attack on all of us.”
“Today marks the most deadly shooting in American history….it is a further reminder of how easy it is for someone to get a weapon for an attack on a school, a movie theater a work place or a nightclub. In the face of hate and violence, we will love one another., we will not give in to fear, we will stand united.”
The Vatican issued the following statement; “The terrible massacre that has taken plance in Orlando, with its dreadfully high number of innocent victims, has caused in Pope Franccis, and in all of us, the deepest feelings of horror and condemnation, of pain and turmoil before this new manifestation of himicidal folly and senseless hatred. Pope Francis joins the families of the victims and all of the injured in prayer and in compassion.”
For additional information and a list of the victims visit http://www.cityoforlando.net/blog/victims