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Mass shooting in Orlando gay nightclub leaves at least 50 dead, over 50 wounded

Rejected submission by physicsmajor at 2016-06-12 17:49:07

Essentially every news outlet is reporting about a mass shooting which happened around 0200 local time at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida. At time of writing at least 50 have been declared are dead, with over 50 more wounded. The assailant was US citizen Omar Mateen, 29 (hereafter referred to as "the assailant"). He had ties to Afghanistan but no known ties to terrorist organizations; he was not on any watch lists. He came armed with a handgun and a rifle - described by some outlets as "assault-style", but no credible report has identified if it was semiautomatic or fully automatic. There are also reports of some sort of device on his person.

The packed nightclub had approximately 320 people inside when the assailant opened fire. The chain of events after that point are unclear, but hostages were taken. At approximately 0500 local time police and SWAT teams stormed the building, at least one officer was injured, and the assailant was killed. Bomb squads subsequently detonated what is being called a "controlled explosion." The source of that explosion - whether the device on his person or something different - is not yet known.

Despite rampant speculation involving Afghanistan and terrorism, all reports about motivation are wholly guesswork at this time. The assailant was apparently homophobic, so this terrible event may be a hate crime.

Original Submission