Day in 10

10 things to know about the Orlando massacre

A lot of things happened this weekend, but the fact of the worst mass shooting in American history overshadows everything else. So we've devoted today's entire Weekend in 10 roundup to this horrifying tragedy.

Person of the Day

What we know about Orlando massacre shooter Omar Mateen

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Pulse nightclub participating in an Orlando pride march. (Jeff Kern/Flickr)

Early this morning Omar Saddiqui Mateen opened fire on the popular gay club Pulse in Orlando, Florida.

The shooting resulted in the deaths of 53 people and injuries to 50 others. Mateen was shot and killed by police inside of Pulse.

What we know about Omar Mateen

The Pulse nightclub shooting is the deadliest mass shooting in American history. Here's what we know about the shooter, Omar Mateen:

  • Mateen was a 29-year-old American citizen born in New York and living in Port Saint Lucie, Florida.
  • His parents are originally from Afghanistan. He was working as a professional security officer.
  • Mateen, who had both a concealed carry license and a state firearms license, used an AR-15 assault rifle and a handgun during the attack.
  • Police are investigating his motive, but it's been reported that Mateen called 911 before his attack to pledge allegiance to the Islamic State (ISIS).
  • Police and the FBI were aware of Mateen, though he didn't have an criminal history.

His family's response

Mateen's father publicly commented on the shooting, stating that he wasn't sure the reason behind his son's actions.

"I apologize for what my son did ... We are saying we are apologizing for the whole incident. We weren't aware of any action he is taking. We are in shock like the whole country."

The father also told reporters that the attack "has nothing to do with religion." He did, however, share that a couple of months ago Mateen had seen two gay men kissing in Miami and he remembers Mateen sharing anti-gay sentiments.

Mateen's ex-wife has also come forward to identify Mateen. She says "he was not a stable person” and that he was physically abusive, prompting their divorce in 2011.

You can donate to help Orlando massacre victims and their families here.

Quote of the Day

Here’s what Obama said about the Orlando shooting

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President Obama being briefed on the Orlando shooting. (Wikimedia Commons)

President Obama addressed the worst mass shooting in US history that took place in Orlando, Florida today. He expressed the profound grief that a tragedy like this causes.

"Today, as Americans, we grieve the brutal murder, a horrific massacre, of dozens of innocent people. We pray for their families, who are grasping for answers with broken hearts. We stand with the people of Orlando, who have endured a terrible attack on their city."

The President also addressed the importance of solidarity after tragedies like this.

"We know enough to say that this was an act of terror and an act of hate, and as Americans we are united in grief, in outrage and in resolve to defend our people."

Both the President and Vice President Biden had released statements earlier this morning.

Flags will also be lowered at the White House until June 16th.

You can donate to help Orlando massacre victims and their families here.

Image of the Day

Just look at this helmet that saved a cop during the Orlando massacre

Following the shooting that killed 50 people and injured 53 others at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida, early this morning, the Orlando Police Department shared a photo of the helmet that saved one policeman's life. The Kevlar helmet clearly has a bullet hole from a shot taken at the officer who was wearing it while confronting the shooter, Omar Mateen.

The police department also shared other photos from the attack, which is being called the worst mass shooting in US history.

Other photos being shared in the aftermath of the tragedy include all the people lining up to donate blood to help the dozens of people who were shot and survived but are hospitalized. The blood bank OneBlood had requested people with blood types O negative, O positive and AB plasma donate blood to help the victims.

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An image about donating blood to OneBlood in Orlando being shared on Instagram. (Shuushuu-by-Lulu/Flickr)

As it turned out, so many people lined up to donate blood that OneBlood has now asked people to stop donating today and instead to schedule appointments for later in the week. The OneBlood website even crashed at one point because so many people were visiting it.

There were also false reports earlier today that the blood bank had lifted the FDA's rule not allowing men who've had sex with other men in the past year to donate blood. That guideline is reportedly still in effect for the donations.

You can donate to help Orlando massacre victims and their families here.

Number of the Day

50 people died in Orlando in the worst mass shooting in US history

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The scene outside the Pulse nightclub. (Wikimedia Commons)

The Orlando nightclub attack this morning that resulted in the deaths of 50 people is the worst shooting in US history.

Fifty. People.

The city of Orlando is releasing victims' names here.

What happened

- The shooter, Omar Mateen, entered Pulse,a gay nightclub, at around 2 am.

- At the time, there were around 320 people in the club.

- Mateen had both an assault rifle and a gun, and it's been reported that he also had some sort of "suspicious device" that could have been an explosive.

- One police officer responded to the incident shortly after it began and got in a brief gun fight with Mateen, who ended up going back into the club.

- Inside, Mateen took hostages.

- It wasn't until around 5 am that police officers and a SWAT team stormed the club, killed Mateen, and freed the hostages and were able to take wounded survivors of the attack to the hospital.

- In addition to the 50 people killed, another 53 were injured, including a police officer.

How this compares to other mass shootings in America

The Orlando shooting is being called the worst shooting in US history because it caused more deaths than any previous mass shooting. Previously the Virginia Tech massacre, in which 33 people were killed, was the worst. Right behind Virginia Tech is the 28 deaths in the 2012 Newtown school shooting.

You can donate to help Orlando massacre victims and their families here.

Place of the Day

‘Not just another gay club’: Pulse, the site of the mass shooting

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A gay pride parade float for Pulse nightclub in Orlando. (Jeff Kern/Flickr)

The mass shooting that killed 50 people this morning happened at the very popular gay nightclub Pulse in Orlando, Florida.

Pulse--which calls itself "not just another gay club" and "the heartbeat of Orlando"--was founded in 2004 by Barbara Poma and Ron Legler. The focus of the club was to promote awareness of Orlando's LGBT community. The club was named Pulse to honor the heartbeat of Poma's brother, who died from AIDS.

During the shooting, the theme was Latin night.

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Pulse nightclub posted this image to Facebook to promote their Latin night last night. (Facebook)

Puerto Rican drag queen Kenya Michaels was scheduled to perform, and it's been reported that she is safe. Pulse had themed performances nightly and also hosted LGBT educational events.

You can donate to help Orlando massacre victims and their families here.

Word of the Day

Orange County, Florida, is in a state of emergency after the mass shooting in Orlando

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Florida Governor Rick Scott. (Gage Skidmore/Flickr)

After the mass shooting in Orlando overnight that took the lives of 50 people, Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer issued a state of emergency for the city. Dyer also requested that Florida Governor Rick Scott declare a state of emergency for the entire state.

Governor Scott hasn't issued it for the entire state, but he did extend the state of emergency to all of Orange County, Florida.

Calling a state of emergency generally means that means the federal government can free up funding to help in a disaster or tragedy.

The governor has called for a moment of silence at 6 pm ET.

You can donate to help Orlando massacre victims and their families here.

Video of the Day

People filmed the shootout during the Orlando nightclub massacre

During the mass shooting at an Orlando nightclub overnight, several people managed to take videos outside of the club.

Here's video capturing the shootout between police and attacker Omar Mateen:

People who were there and survived also shared the horrific experience.

Chillingly, you can hear the first shots ring out in this video:

The mass shooting resulted in the deaths of 50 people. Police were able to successfully raid the nightclub and kill Mateen at around 5 am this morning.

You can donate to help Orlando massacre victims and their families here.

Tweet of the Day

Here’s what the internet has to say about the Orlando shooting

LA Pride uploaded this image to Facebook. (via Facebook Newswire)

LA Pride uploaded this image to Facebook. (via Facebook Newswire)

Tons and tons of people have been expressing their grief after the mass shooting in Orlando this morning that killed 50 people. People have been using the hashtag #PrayForFlorida to share their sadness.

Politicians have also been sharing their thoughts and condolences.

By the way, "The Voice" contestant Christina Grimmie was shot and killed after her performance on Friday, also in Orlando.

Since the Pulse nightclub attack was by someone who was, allegedly, an ISIS supporter on a gay nightclub, it's sparking a wide range of political views and opinions.

You can donate to help Orlando massacre victims and their families here.

Controversy of the Day

The Orlando shooter was Muslim. How much does it matter?

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A photo of the Orlando shooter, Omar Mateen, that has been released to the media. (Wikimedia Commons)

As more information begins to surface after the shooting in Orlando--the worst mass shooting in US history--officials are sharing more about shooter Omar Mateen's background. Additional evidence is coming to light regarding Mateen's ties to the Islamic State (ISIS).

Officials are saying that the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) investigated Mateen twice before but couldn't definitively confirm he was a terrorist. In 2013 the FBI investigated Mateen after he had made some "inflammatory comments" to a coworker that alluded to terrorism.

It's also been reported that Mateen called 911 prior to the attack and supposedly declared allegiance to ISIS. Hours after the attack ISIS used an encrypted phone app to declare that they were responsible for the attack and that Mateen was one of their fighters. Despite this claim, the FBI doesn't believe ISIS had specifically trained Mateen.

As a result of Mateen's Islamic ties, a lot of anti-Muslim hate has been spurred.

While this mass shooting may have been motivated by the shooter's allegiance to ISIS, many are pointing out that other tragic mass shootings like Charleston and Newtown and Aurora were at the hands of white, non-Muslim shooters.

You can donate to help Orlando massacre victims and their families here.

Issue of the Day

The AR-15: The gun these massive shootings have in common


An AR-15. (simonov/Flickr)

Just a couple of weeks ago, the Orlando shooter, Omar Mateen was able to purchase two firearms legally.

Having been involved in two FBI investigations for possible terrorism did not stop him from acquiring the guns. While these may have not specifically been the weapons used to kill 50 people in an Orlando nightclub early this morning, Mateen's ability to purchase weapons at all has sparked major debate on both the left and the right.

For some, the tragedy of Orlando means #GunControlNow.

What gun did Mateen use to kill 50 people? He used an AR-15 rifle, which is a very serious gun. This is also the same gun that was used in the Sandy Hook Elementary school shooting and the Colorado movie theater shooting.

When it comes to gun control, politicians certainly have something to say. While Democrats like Bernie Sanders and President Obama are focusing on the guns, Republicans are looking at the shooter. Sanders told reporters:

"We should not be selling automatic weapons which are designed to kill people. We have got to do everything that we can on top of that to make sure that guns do not fall into the hands of people who should not have them, criminals, people who are mentally ill. So that struggle continues."

On the other end of the spectrum, Donald Trump and his social media director Dan Scavino are focused on the terrorist himself and "radical Islamic terrorism," not on the weaponry.

You can donate to help Orlando massacre victims and their families here.

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10 things to know about the Orlando massacre

Sydney Moorhead

Sydney is a recent graduate of UC Santa Cruz with a degree in English-language literature. She served as a City on a Hill Press editor and an editorial intern at Good Times Weekly. She currently resides in Orange County, where she does her best not to spend all her money at the ridiculous number of malls. She loves watching Bravo reality shows and eating vegan food that isn’t too expensive (so, never).

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