Around 2 a.m. EST Sunday morning Omar Mateen, 29, attacked a gay nightclub in Orlando, FL, and killed 50 people while wounding 53 others. It is being called the worst mass shooting in American history.
Mateen is an American born citizen of Afghan descent and his father says that the shooting may have been motivated by anti-LGBT sentiment and that his son got angry when he saw to men kissing in Miami. This has “noting to do with religion,” he added.
“We are apologizing for the whole incident,” he told NBC News. “We weren’t aware of any action he [was] taking. We are in shock like the whole country.”
Some officials have indicated however that there was a connection to ISIS. Florida Senator Bill Nelson said that he was privy to information that indicated a connection to terrorism.
“Facts seem to connect this to terrorism, but we can’t say that totally yet,” he said.
In an address from the White House, President Obama confirmed that the shooting in Orlando was an act of terror.
“We know enough to say this was an act of terror and an act of hate,” he said. “The FBI is appropriately investigating this as an act of terror. We will go wherever the facts lead us … What is clear is he was a person filled with hatred.”
President Obama has had to make statements after 18 mass shootings over the course of his presidency, after the Orlando attack, the President said that once again, America is faced with hard decisions.
“The shooter was apparently armed with a handgun and a powerful assault rifle,” the President said. “This massacre therefore, is a further reminder of how easy it is for someone to get their hands on a weapon that let’s them shoot people in a school, or in a house of worship, or in a movie theatre, or in a nightclub and we have to decide if that’s the kind of country we want to be and to actively do nothing is a decision as well.”
Watch the full address below: