“We will not be defined by this act of terror” — Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer
(This is a summary of much of the information the Orlando Police Department released throughout the day on Sunday, June 12.)
On June 12, 2016, just after 2 a.m., an Orlando Police Officer working extra duty at the Pulse Nightclub, located at 1912 S. Orange Ave., responded to shots fired. Our officer engaged in a gun battle with that suspect and the suspect went deeper into the club where more shots were fired. The incident then turned into a hostage situation.
The suspect – later identified as 29-year-old Omar Mir Seddique Mateen of Fort Pierce, Florida – continued shooting inside the club.
At 5 a.m., the decision was made to breach the club and rescue the hostages, OPD Chief John Mina said. Officers were able to rescue 30 hostages and lead them to safety. Our SWAT Officers exchanged gunfire with the suspect, killing him. The gunman, an American citizen living in Florida, legally purchased the firearms within the last week, said Trevor Velinor, Asst. Special Agent In Charge of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Tampa Field Office.
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement will conduct the Officer Involved Shooting investigation. The 11 OPD officers involved are relieved of duty, as is standard in any officer involved shooting.
A total of 50 people were killed in the shooting; an additional 53 were injured. Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer said Sunday afternoon: “This is probably the most difficult day in the history of Orlando.”
The FBI is the lead Federal Law Enforcement agency and is answering questions through its Main National Press Office at 202-324-3691.
All official updates will come either from live media briefings or through the OPD Twitter account: @orlandopolice Florida Gov. Rick Scott has declared a State of Emergency. Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer has declared a local State of Emergency.
A hotline has been set up for those who believe a loved one may be a victim of the shooting. That number is 407-246-4357. As we are able to release the names of those killed, they will be posted on at http://www.cityoforlando.net/victims Orlando Police will also continue to release the names on its Twitter account as well – @orlandopolice
Aspire Health is offering grief counseling through the Zebra Coalition. Call 407-228-1448 for info. The LGBT Center of Central Florida, at 946 N. Mills Ave., also has counselors on hand.
We will continue to update here, likely once a day. Most frequent updates will come from Twitter.