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What We Know: The Orlando Shooting

  • VOA News

Police stand in front of one of the houses that officials indicated was connected to the Orlando shooter in Port St. Lucie, Florida, U.S. June 12, 2016.

Police stand in front of one of the houses that officials indicated was connected to the Orlando shooter in Port St. Lucie, Florida, U.S. June 12, 2016.

- A man identified by police as 29-year-old Omar Mateen killed 49 people early Sunday at a nightclub in Orlando, Florida. Another 53 people were hospitalized, many of them in critical condition.

- More than 300 people were at the club, called Pulse, celebrating Latin Night. Minutes after the shooting began around 2 a.m., a post on the club's Facebook page said, "Everyone get out of Pulse and keep running."

- Mateen called the 911 emergency number and claimed allegiance with the Islamic State group. Islamic State later said through its media arm that the attack was carried out by one of its fighters. The exact level of their coordination, if any, is not yet clear.

- FBI Director James Comey said there are "strong indications of radicalization" by Mateen and said the FBI is investigating his life to see if there was anyone else involved either in directing or assisting him. He said, "So far, we see no indication that this was a plot directed from outside the United States" or that Mateen "was part of any network."

- Comey said Mateen was questioned by the FBI in 2013 and 2014, but investigators found nothing to warrant any charges. He said Mateen's coworkers expressed concern about him in 2013 when Mateen spoke of a wish to martyr himself. FBI investigators looked into the matter for 10 months before closing the investigation. Comey said Mateen's name resurfaced again in 2014 when a slight connection became known between Mateen and a suicide bomber from the radical group, al-Nusra.

- Authorities say Mateen used a handgun and an AR-15 rifle during the attack that lasted about three hours. He held 30 hostages who were rescued by police. Mateen died around 5 a.m. in a shootout with SWAT officers.

- Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer called Sunday "probably the most difficult day" in the city's history.

- Orlando police have released the names of about half of the victims, only those whose families have been notified so far. The dead range in age from 20 to 50 years old.

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