Fifty dead after mass shooting at Pulse

By : Jamie Hyman
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UPDATE: 12:30 p.m. EST June 12: OneBlood, which had called for blood donations citing an urgent need after the shooting at Pulse, says they have enough for now but the supply will need to be replenished over the next few days.

Here’s there update: A tremendous response by blood donors in light of the tragic mass shooting in Orlando. We are asking donors to donate over the next several days to help replenish the blood supply. We are asking people please make an appointment online or call 1.888.9.DONATE (1.888.936.6283). Thank you!

UPDATE: 10:30 a.m. EST June 12: Police identify Omar Mateen as the shooter at Pulse last night. He’s from Port St. Lucie. Police want information from any witnesses who either were present at the shooting or know anything about it, or people who were at Pulse but left before the shooting began.

Police say as many as 50 people are dead inside Pulse nightclub. No victims names have been released yet.

Mayor Buddy Dyer is trying to declare of state of emergency in Orlando. If you are trying to identify a family member, here is the city’s crisis hotline: 407-246-4357.

UPDATES, 10 a.m. EST June 12: Medical officials say there is a need for blood donations to help the shooting victims. O+, AB, and O- are especially needed, and gay men cannot legally donate blood, so it’s requested that community members make a donation at any Red Bus.

Counselors are set up at The GLBT Center to support friends/family of victims. Zebra is manning a hotline number, 407-228-1446.

A vigil is being set up at the bandshell at Lake Eola, 7 p.m. June 12.

Original story below:

Orlando police confirm the shooter is dead and multiple victims are dead after a mass shooting at Pulse nightclub.

Police arrived at the gay club on Orange Ave. after gunshots were fired at 2 a.m. Witnesses say there were about 40 gunshots in rapid succession as people inside Pulse tried to escape. Orlando Police confirmed via their Twitter account that there was a controlled explosion, which police clarified later was a distractionary device.

image (20)Orlando police chief John Mina, in a briefing 7 a.m. June 12, confirmed that several people were dead inside the nightclub, as many as 20 dead.  At least 42 victims were taken to the hospital. Mina says an officer who was on duty at Pulse responded to the shooting, exchanged gunfire with the shooter and it did turn into a hostage situation. He says at 5 a.m., they made the decision to rescue hostages and SWAT officers exchanged gunfire with the suspect, who was carrying a handgun and an “assault type” rifle.  Mina says the suspect had “a device” on him and they’re checking the area for other devices.

He says one officer was injured but saved by his Kevlar helmet. Mina says any information they find about the gunman will be turned over to the FBI, but they confirmed he was prepared and well organized, and not from this area.

“Tonight our community experienced a very horrific crime. Many lives were lost,” says Mayor Buddy Dyer. “We’re a strong, resilient community. Tonight, we had a crime that will have a lasting effect on our community. We need to stay strong and stay supportive at our victims and their families.”

As of 7 a.m., some witnesses told media there was a second shooter but that is unconfirmed.

“Everyone get out of pulse and keep running,” was posted to Pulse’s Facebook page at 3 a.m. It was the club’s Latin night.

image (33)“I was there. Shooter opened fire @ around 2:00am. 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. I am safely home and hoping everyone gets home safely as well,” Ricardo J. Negron Almodovar posted to the Pulse Facebook page.

Police say this is a multi-agency investigation, with local, state and federal authorities on the scene.

A representative from the FBI, at the briefing, stated that there’s no reason to expect further danger.

This is a developing story and will be updated as more information becomes available.

 

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