50 people have lost their lives and a further 53 have been injured when a gunman opened fire at 2am in a gay nightclub in popular holiday destination Orlando.
The assailant has been named as 29-year-old Omar S. Mateen, a US citizen with Afghan parents. The gunman’s father told US media that the attack had “nothing to do with religion”.
A police officer working as a security guard at the Pulse nightclub engaged in a gun battle with the assailant It took three hours to rescue the hostages in the club and the shootout ended with the gunman being shot dead.
Danny Banks, head of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement said: “Do we consider this an act of terrorism? Absolutely, we are investigating this from all parties’ perspective as an act of terrorism. Whether that is domestic terrorist activity or an international one, that is something we will certainly get to the bottom of.”
“It was one after another after another after another,” Christopher Hansen told CNN, describing the horrific moment when the murderer opened fire. “It could have lasted a whole song.”
The Irish Department of Foreign Affairs has no reports of Irish people having been caught up in the shooting.