Pulse nightclub shooting is now considered an act of domestic terrorism.Orlando is having one of the bloodiest weekends of recent history as two shootings have put the home of Disney World in the headlines. According to reports, approximately 20 people were killed inside Pulse, a gay night club. At least 42 people have been transported for medical treatment, Orlando Police Chief John Mina said in a Sunday morning press conference. In addition, according to CNN, Police have shot and killed the gunman, Mina told reporters.
"It's appears he was organized and well-prepared," the chief said, adding that the shooter had an assault-type weapon, a handgun and "some type of (other) device on him."At least nine officers responded to the shooting were engaged in a shootout with the shooter. In addition, one officer suffered an eye injury when a bullet struck his Kevlar helmet. Orlando police authorities say they consider the violence an act of domestic terrorism. The FBI is currently involved and while investigators are still investigating, they "have suggestions the individual has leanings towards (Islamic terrorism), but right now we can't say definitely," said Ron Hopper, a special agent to the FBI's Orlando bureau and source to CNN.
Pulse Nightclub Shooting:The shooting first started at around 2 a.m, according to police reports. An officer, who was working at the night club, responded and after the officer engaged the shooter and started shooting outside the club, the gunman ran into the night club.
"That turned into a hostage situation," Mina said.More police were rushed to the scene and broke down a door with an armored vehicle, helping save 30 club-goers. At that point police shot and killed the gunman, Mina said.
"Everyone get out of Pulse and keep running," the nightclub posted on its Facebook page shortly after the violence began.
What is Pulse Nightclub:
Pulse is located in the heart of Orlando and before the shooting, the nightclub was promoting its "Latin flavor" event. Crowds headed to the party in an event that turned to a complete nightmare.
Ricardo Negron Almodovar was at the night club and said he barely escaped. "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," he posted on the club's Facebook page. "I am safely home and hoping everyone gets home safely as well."
Anthony Torres, who was at the night club with friends, said he heard shots as he drove away.
"The shots did not sound like a regular handgun. It sounded like it was shooting repetitively and it wouldn't stop," he said. "So we knew what it was and we left there pretty quick. It was over 70 cop cars that were arriving there ... It happened so quick that people got separated from each other."
Hospitals are now on lockdown
The Orlando Regional Medical Center was placed on lockdown, the hospital said in a statement. Only essential workers are being allowed access into the building.
The mass shooting only took place a few miles away from Orlando's Plaza Live theater where 22-year-old singer Christina Grimmie, who had appeared on NBC's The Voice was shot and killed on Friday night.
Who is the shooter?
According to reports, the suspect is being identified as Omar Mateen from Port St. Lucie, Florida according to CBS News. He has ties to radical Islamic ideology, CBS reports. Both of Mateens parents are originally from Afghanistan, according to CBS News. He was married in 2009, public records show. It is not clear if he was still married at the time of the attack. Mateen is a registered Democrat who has also lived in Fort Pierce, Florida, according to online records.