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: Early Sunday morning, a gunman opened fire in Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida. As of 10:30 a.m. on Sunday, the death toll had been raised to 50, according to Buddy Dyer, mayor of Orlando, with more than 50 injuries have been reported as well. While officials initially reported the Pulse shooting death toll as 20 people, the number was later corrected to 50 in a press conference by Orlando police and FBI officials. This makes the shooting the deadliest mass shooting in American history.
The former worst mass shooting in American history was the Virginia Tech shooting in 2007, which left 32 people dead and 17 injured. The Orlando death toll is now much greater than that, making the event that much more devastating.The Virginia Tech shooting also took place in two locations on the college's campus, while the Pulse night club shooting only occurred in one.
While no motive has been named for this event as of yet, the FBI and other domestic law enforcement are involved in the case, and are treating it as an incident of domestic terrorism.
Health officials in Orlando have asked for Orlando citizens to please donate O negative, O positive, and AB plasma blood in the wake of the tragedy.