Update: In a press conference Monday morning, Orlando police confirmed that 49 people had been killed and 53 injured early Sunday morning at Orlando's Pulse gay nightclub in the deadliest mass shooting in recent U.S. history. After opening fire on the crowd, an individual named Omar Mateen had taken hostages and was ultimately killed in a stand-off with police; Mateen had called 911 and pledged allegiance to the Islamic State shortly before the massacre. Orlando mayor Buddy Dyer declared a state of emergency, and the massacre is being investigated as an act of terrorism.
The victims' names were released by the city of Orlando on its website as their next of kin were informed. Here are some ways to help the Orlando shooting victims and their loved ones; you can also donate to the victims' fund, as well as express your solidarity with the LGBTQ community by posting a tribute online. You can also attend a vigil near you to honor the victims.
Earlier: In the wake of a horrific shooting early Sunday morning at a nightclub in Orlando, Florida, some may be wondering whether the Pulse shooting is related to Christina Grimmie's death. The two events both took place in Orlando, not long after one another: According to the Orlando police department, Grimmie was fatally shot while signing autographs after a concert on Friday evening, and a gunman reportedly opened fire at the gay club Pulse early Sunday morning, killing "approximately" 20 people. However, the similarities end there — Orlando police have confirmed that there is no link between the death of the Voice star and the Pulse shooting.
According to reports, a lone gunman began firing in the popular Florida club around 2 a.m. The shooting turned into a hostage situation in which at least 42 people were wounded; it's unclear exactly how many were killed. Some fled the scene, while others hid in the bathroom until law enforcement secured the club. After approximately three hours, police shot and killed the gunman after breaking down a door with an armored vehicle, freeing dozens of clubgoers.
Law enforcement say the gunman appeared to be "organized and well prepared" and are treating the incident as domestic terrorism.
In response to the shooting, #PrayForOrlando began trending on Twitter on Sunday morning.
The FBI has been confirmed to be investigating the shooting.