Gunman kills 50, wounds 53 in Florida nightclub in worst mass shooting in US history

WASHINGTON, June 12 (KUNA) — In the worst mass shooting in US history, a gunman killed 50 people and wounded 53 in a crowded gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, early on Sunday, officials said, and law enforcement officials said it could have been an act of Islamist terrorism.
The gunman was identified as Omar Mateen, a US citizen who lived in Port St. Lucie, Florida.
Around 2 a.m., the killer entered the Pulse nightclub carrying an assault rifle and handgun while more than 300 people were inside dancing and drinking, said Orlando Police Chief John Mina.
The gunman exchanged fire with an off-duty police officer at the club, then shot dozens of patrons, sending hundreds of others fleeing the club, Mina said.
He remained inside the club with dozens of people held hostage, until after 5 a.m., when the police used an armored vehicle and stun grenades to enter the club and kill him, Mina said. An assistant FBI agent said it was possible that Mateen was an Islamist radical, and law enforcement officials said they were investigating the mass killing as an act of terrorism. (end) rm.rk