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Arianna

Pulse mass shooting

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A gunman opened fire at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, killing at least 50 people and injuring dozens before being shot dead by police. What do we know about what happened?

 

How the incident unfolded

 

The attack began at about 02:00 local time (06:00 GMT) on Sunday.

Pulse, which is one of the biggest nightclubs in Orlando, was holding a Latin-themed event that was nearing its end when a man opened fire. There were more than 300 people inside at the time.

Shortly afterwards, the nightclub posted on its Facebook page: "Everyone get out of pulse and keep running."

 

The gunman was carrying an AR-15-type assault rifle and a handgun. Police sources have told US media he also had a suspicious device strapped to his body.

There was an exchange of fire with a police officer working at the club, but it is unclear whether that was inside or outside the venue.

 

A hostage situation developed and at 05:00 local time (09:00 GMT), officers stormed the building after receiving texts and phone calls from people inside.

The attacker was shot dead in an exchange of fire with 11 officers. Police said there was also a "controlled explosion".

At least 50 people were killed, making it the worst mass shooting in recent US history.

That figure could rise, with at least 53 wounded people taken to hospital.

 

Who was the gunman?

 

Officials have named the suspect as Omar Mateen, a 29-year-old from Fort Pierce, a city about two hours' drive south of Orlando, in St Lucie County.

 

His father, Seddique Mateen, said his son became "very angry" after seeing two men kissing in Miami recently.

FBI Special Agent Ron Hopper told reporters that Mateen had been interviewed by FBI officers twice in 2013 following inflammatory comments to colleagues asserting ties to the so-called Islamic State group (IS).

The investigation ended after officers were unable to substantiate the claims. However, Mateen was questioned again in 2014 about a potential connection to Moner Mohammad Abu-Salha, an American known to have carried out a suicide bombing in Syria.

 

Mateen's ex-wife, Sitora Yusufiy, said that he was violent and mentally unstable and had beaten her repeatedly while they were together.

 

Was there an IS link?

 

The group has said it was behind the attack, but the extent of its involvement is not clear.

A statement released by its affiliated Amaq news agency said that an IS "fighter" was responsible.

An FBI spokesman said Mateen phoned emergency services during the attack and pledged allegiance to IS.

The group had called for its supporters to launch attacks on the West during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, that began last week.

 

What have eyewitnesses said?

 

Witnesses were interviewed by police

There were about 320 people inside the club during the shooting, according to the Orlando Sentinel. Some have been speaking about what they witnessed.

"All you saw is people running and screaming and there were bodies in the parking lot where bodies were being tagged," Christopher Hansen told CNN. "It was like a scene from a horror movie."

Jon Alamo said he saw a man holding a weapon walking into the room he was in.

"I heard 20, 40, 50 shots, he said. "The music stopped."

 

What is the political reaction?

 

US President Barack Obama said this was an act of terror and an act of hate, but authorities were investigating whether there were links to extremist groups.

The presumptive Republican presidential nominee, Donald Trump, called on the president to resign for not using the words "Islamic terrorism".

His Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton, said: "To the LGBT community: please know that you have millions of allies across our country. I am one of them.

"We will keep fighting for your right to live freely, openly and without fear. Hate has absolutely no place in America."

She also said there was a need to keep guns out of the hands of terrorists or other violent criminals.

Florida Senator Marco Rubio said gun controls would not have prevented the tragedy.

He added that such so-called "lone-wolf" attacks were the hardest to prevent.

 

 

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-36511778

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Who was the gunman?

His father, Seddique Mateen, said his son became "very angry" after seeing two men kissing in Miami recently.

With all the misery, injustice and general idiocy that ravages our planet on a daily basis, I still find it baffling that this is a reason for people snapping and commiting mass murder.

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It upsets me greatly to know that this person isn't what he considers being inherently evil. I used to think of these people are evil myself but you realise that what you're doing is creating a story to justify someone's actions. He clearly doesn't think he's the wrong-doer in this situation and that is so sad. To him and people like him, I say consider what you're actually doing. Taking innocent lives and ending them, there is no justification in that.

 

Sometimes I look at the world we live in and what people are doing and I think... If only the dinosaurs hadn't been wiped out. People are awful, imagine that as well, such a limited time on this planet and we cannot hold on to life. Ending it prematurely to suit our ideologies, beliefs, culture. Absolutely disgusting, my heart goes out to the friends and family of those we have lost and sympathies to those who were injured.

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The presumptive Republican presidential nominee, Donald Trump, called on the president to resign for not using the words "Islamic terrorism".

Come on.... I mean I agree islamic terrorism is one of the biggest problems facing the world today but why would someone be forced to resign for trying to be politically correct 8 hours after an attack.

 

Pretty disturbing and frustrating how this keeps happening.

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There is quite a bit speculation that the guy was gay himself. He's apparently on a bunch of gay dating apps.

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There is quite a bit speculation that the guy was gay himself. He's apparently on a bunch of gay dating apps.

"Dating Apps"

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Another mass shooting, another Obama speech, another gun control bill killed in Congress. What a sad state of affairs.

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Good to see Republicans shoot down this gun control effort, not because of any Second Amendment conflict (there really isn't one), but rather because of the obvious Fifth Amendment conflict in play. Nobody should be prevented from boarding a plane or buying a firearm for being on a secret list with no transparent process for getting on or off of.

 

The cause of this shooting was probably racial in nature, we have people who knew Mateen saying he was frustrated with gay Latino men and complained that they used him. I'm sure the homophobia he grew up with didn't help matters.

Edited by William Howard Taft

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Mr Taft, the Republicans are the ones who created the "do-not-fly" list in the first place, so it makes no goddamn sense for them to complain about its legality and ethical queasiness when a Democratic administration and legislators use it for their own ends.

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I don't disagree about who started it, I too would rather see the list completely gone. And even if there is some cognitive dissonance at play at least the scope of the no-fly list is being curtailed somewhat.

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