The mass shooting that took place at an Orlando nightclub early Monday was the deadliest mass shooting in American history. Fifty-three people were wounded on top of the 49 people who died. The gunman walked in and shot one-third of the people at the club before his standoff with police. A gun battle later erupted between the shooter and police before the shooter was killed. The horrific incident is the largest terrorist attack in America since 9-11. The people of Florida are still reeling from the shock.
The shooter, 29-year-old Omar Mateen, had been investigated by the FBI twice before. They revealed he made pro-terrorism comments to co-workers. Omar’s father also couldn’t believe his son had such intentions, though Omar’s ex-wife says he was mentally ill and abused her. Apparently, Mateen was inspired to commit the awful massacre by things he read on the Internet.
Some reports insist Mateen was a regular at the club, and had been going there for three years, though this angle is not really being studied by many mainstream media outlets as it would complicate the story beyond the act of terror dialogue. Pulse is a gay nightclub, whereas Mateen is believed to have been acting out against gays. A paper local to the region, the Orlando Sentinel, interviewed people who say they saw Omar in the club before. The sightings haven’t been affirmed by police, but would be important clues to a larger motive.
The weapons Mateen purchased and used in the shooting were obtained legally. Background checks found no issues, and the previous two FBI investigations were closed before the shooting rampage. Mateen fooled people into thinking he was a normal, non-violent citizen. He was born in New York and worked in Florida as a security guard.
Investigators think he may also have been scouting another location to terrorize when he visited the nearby Disney World park. Investigations are ongoing, including finding out if any bystanders that fled the club were shot in the crossfire between police and the shooter.
According to The New York Times, President Obama commented on the issue with reporters, telling them that the shooter believed in a distorted version of the Muslim religion he found online.
“One of the biggest challenges we are going to have is this kind of propaganda and perversions of Islam that you see generated on the Internet.”
But Donald Trump thinks that Obama is afraid to use the term “radical Islamic terrorism” to describe incidents like these. He sent out a tweet with his very strong and straightforward criticism on the same day as the shooting.
Is President Obama going to finally mention the words radical Islamic terrorism? If he doesn’t he should immediately resign in disgrace!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 12, 2016
Omar Mateen lied to police when he spoke with them from within the nightclub, and claimed he had accomplices and explosives. Police finally broke a hole in the club’s wall when Mateen threatened to kill more people. Information about the victims is just starting to come out, and many across Orlando, across Florida, and across the nation are grieving, wondering how something like this could take place in 2016.
The nightclub massacre comes just after another terrible incident in Orlando. Singer Christina Grimmie was shot while signing autographs after a concert on Friday. The motive for that shooting is still unknown, but it it came less than three days before this even larger senseless loss of life. These incidents are already making people look again at gun laws, and look at the processes and checks that allowed the two shooters to walk away with weapons later used to harm innocent human lives.