At least 50 people have been killed after a shooting early Sunday morning at a gay nightclub in Orlando, according to the city’s mayor. Police confirm the gunman was killed after taking more than 30 people hostage. At least 53 people were injured.
Orlando police said the shooting is being treated as an “act of domestic terrorism” and are urging people to stay away from the area. They identified the shooter as Omar Mateen, a U.S. citizen of Afghan descent.
U.S. officials said on Sunday they had seen no immediate evidence of any direct connection between the worst mass shooting in U.S. history and Islamic State or any other foreign extremist group.
Despite quick accusations that the incident was inspired by the Islamic State group, two officials familiar with the investigation said they had yet to uncover any direct contacts between any extremist group and the suspect who opened fire in the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida.
The FBI had him on file since 2013, when he made inflammatory comments at work, according to an FBI official. He was interviewed twice, and again in 2014 when he was suspected of links to a U.S. suicide bomber, but investigations proved inconclusive. Mateen then reportedly called 911 pledging allegiance to the IS group, said the official at a press conference in Orlando.