Police officials in Orlando, Florida confirm that the nightclub shooter was killed following a gun battle with law enforcement. Early Sunday, at around 2:02am EDT, a lone gunman began shooting inside the Pulse Nightclub, a popular venue for the local LGTB community. An off-duty police officer was in uniform providing security and immediately engaged the gunman. At some point, the unknown gunman retreated into the club and began shooting the place up. As other law enforcement agencies responded to the scene, a mass hooting incident became a reality in Orlando. Police say about 50 people were killed and some 42 were wounded. The FBI confirmed that there is a possibility that the shooter may have ideological leanings towards radical Islam. A standoff ended when law enforcement created diversions and forced their way inside. Some 30 hostages were rescued and a SWAT team killed the terrorist gunman.
As I write this, less than 6 hours have passed since the event began. So there is much that is unknown. Many initial accounts, including those from eyewitnesses, may be in error. But during the first press conference given by law enforcement in Orlando, several points are clear. First, that they are investigating this crime as an ″act of terrorism″. The gunman was well armed and well prepared. He may be about 20 years old and was carrying an assault-style rifle, at least one pistol and was wearing some type of ′device′, probably meaning a ′bomb vest′. Police also said that there was a device in his car. They are also still searching through the nightclub for other devices.
There was some initial speculation, prior to the press conference, that this may be the work of some anti-Gay, domestic extremist. Until we know more about the shooter, it would be prudent not to jump to conclusions. But, the FBI spokesman at the press conference did make several statements. The possibility of this event being connected to international terrorism was perhaps the most important. However, the FBI agent also said that at this time, they are unaware of any such connection, and that they also are unaware of any further, wider attacks.
That the FBI is ″unaware″ only 6 hours after the fact is typical. We may learn in the coming days that the shooter may have tipped his hand on social media before launching his attack. That there is little, if any ′chatter′ on the usual ′dark web′ Internet sites is not unexpected. Sometimes, as was the case before 9/11 and the more recent Paris attacks, there is a great deal of ′chatter′. But, if this was just some radicalized, domestic, ′lone wolf′, going psycho in the name of the Islamic State, then we would not expect there to be much ′chatter′ prior to the event.
For now, all we really know is that around 50 people were killed and 42 wounded at the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, Florida. Police say that the lone, mass shooter was killed by SWAT team as the unit entered the nightclub to rescue some 30 hostages. Law enforcement is treating this incident as an ′act of terrorism′ event. The FBI even went as far to say that the terrorist may have a connection to international, radical Islam. However, we may not know for certain for several days, though I suspect such will be determined before the day is out. If they know the shooter′s name, they′ll be able to figure it out fast. Fans of the old Frederick Forsythe novel, ″The Day of the Jackel″, will recall that if police have a name, they can get a passport and a photograph. These days, if you have a name, you can get their website on Facebook and their Twitter account. Then, you′ll know everything you want to know, including all their selfies and ranting tweets.