10:44 a.m.: 50 dead, 52 wounded in Orlando nightclub shooting

Posted at 7:46 AM, Jun 12, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-12 10:50:57-04

ORLANDO -- At 10:44 a.m.,police said approximately 50 people have been killed inside a Florida nightclub, and at least 52 were wounded.

Orlando Police Chief John Mina says authorities have not determined an exact number of people killed, but that "approximately 50" have died.

An FBI spokesman says the mass shooting is being investigated as an act of terrorism.

The gunman was identified as Omar Mateen of Port St. Lucie, Florida.

Authorities were investigating it as an act of terrorism, saying the shooter could have been "ideologically motivated."

Mina says the shooter was armed with an assault-type rifle, a handgun and some type of suspicious device. Police had said previously on Twitter that there was a "controlled explosion" at the scene of the shooting at Pulse Orlando. Mina says that noise was caused by a device intended to distract the shooter.

Mina also says the suspect had exchanged gunshots with an officer working at the club, then went back inside and took hostages around 2 a.m. About three hours later, a SWAT team made the decision to go inside and rescue the hostages. The shooter died in a gunfight with those officers.

Pulse Orlando, identified as a gay bar on its Facebook page, posted on Facebook just after 2 a.m.: "Everyone get out of pulse and keep running."