At least 50 people were killed and 53 injured in an attack on a gay nightclub in Florida, announced local authorities.
The attack, deemed by Orlando Police as a terrorist attack, was carried out by 29-year-old Omar Mateen who officials said was motivated by radical beliefs.
Mateen took hostages at Pulse nightclub in Orlando shortly after the shooting started around 02:00AM and was shot dead by police who stormed the club three hours later.
Responding to the attack, President Obama condemned the “brutal murder of dozens of innocent people” in an “act of terror and an act of hate.”
According to NBC News, Mateen pledged allegiance to ISIS before the attack. ISIS reportedly claimed that it was responsible for the attack, however, Mateen’s father denies the attack had anything to do with religion.
Meanwhile, CNN reports that Mateen was interviewed by the FBI twice in 2013 and 2014 for “inflammatory remarks”. However, these investigations were closed and it did not appear that Mateen was further investigated.
The terror attack was condemned worldwide by top leaders across the world and marks the worst mass shooting in recent U.S. history. Shootings are not uncommon in the United States. In 2015, 475 people were killed in 372 mass shootings, reported the Mass Shooting Tracker.