Pulse, which is among the greatest nightclubs in Orlando, was holding a Latin-themed event that was nearing its finish when a man opened fire. Over there were much more than 300 world inside at the time.
"He had an automatic rifle, therefore nobody stand a chance," claimed Jackie Smith, who saw 2 friends alongside her obtain shot. "I just tried to acquire out that there."
The gunman, who was transporting an AR-15-type assault rifle and a handgun, exchanged fire close to the entrance through a police officer who was working at the nightclub.
Additional officers landed on the scene and also a 2nd gun battle ensued inside, forcing the gunman back. He take it several civilization hostage in a bathroom at the ago of the building, and told the police he had actually explosives.
At this point, police to be able "to save and also rescue dozens and also dozens that people and also get them the end of the club," follow to Orlando police chief man Mina.
With the gunman holed increase in the bathroom, police secured the building and began prepare to breach the external wall of the bathroom through explosives.
Police chiefs do the decision to storm the building at about 05:00 neighborhood time (09:00 GMT), detonating the explosives to create big holes ~ above the building's behind wall.
Mr Mina said dozens of civilization who had actually taken sanctuary in another bathroom were able come escape with these holes prior to the gunman himself emerged.
At least 49 people were killed in the attack, making that the worst mass shoot in recent US history.
Officials have actually named the doubt as Omar Mateen, a 29-year-old from fort Pierce, a city about two hours' drive southern of Orlando, in St Lucie County.
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His father, Seddique Mateen, said his son became "very angry" after see two males kissing in Miami recently.
FBI unique Agent Ron Hopper said reporters that Mateen had actually been interviewed through FBI officers twice in 2013 complying with inflammatory comment to partner asserting ties come the so-called Islamic State group (IS).
The investigation ended after officers were unable to substantiate the claims. However, Mateen was wondered about again in 2014 about a potential connection to Moner Mohammad Abu-Salha, one American well-known to have brought out a suicide battle in Syria.
Mateen's ex-wife, Sitora Yusufiy, stated that he was violent and also mentally unstable and also had to win her continuously while they were together.
It appears that that remarried after the divorce, and also had a three-year-old kid with his second wife, follow to the Miami Herald.
Investigators room looking at whether his 2nd wife, Noor Zahi Salman, knew around the plot front of time, and are considering charges.
She called the FBI her husband stated he was going to check out friends, despite she assumed he to be going to lug out an assault at the night club, officials have told the united state media.
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There are additionally media reports the she claimed she was v him as soon as he purchase ammunition and also a holster, and drove him come Pulse as soon as to scope that out.
Media caption, Jim van Horn, Pulse nightclub customer: "He (Omar Mateen) to be a homosexual and also he was trying to choose up men"
Mateen shows up to have actually been a regular at the club and also he contacted guys on gay dating apps, raising the possibility that he to be conflicted about being gay and also lashed out.