A mass shooter opened fire at the Pulse gay nightclub in Orlando, Fla. early Sunday causing at least two hours of chaos as police worked to get the scene under control, according to media reports.
WESH-TV in Orlando was one of the first crews on the scene, according to reports. Orlando police said the scene included “mass casualties,” but have not confirmed how many people were injured or killed.
Shortly after 2 a.m., an assailant armed with a semi-automatic firearm began shooting inside the nightclub, The Daily News reported. Witnesses said the area was complete chaos as first responders began attending to the injured and getting them into vehicles for transport to a nearby hospital.
The mayhem reportedly continued until just after 4 a.m., with gunshots ringing out at the club after police had detonated a “controlled explosion.”
A witness, Brett Moots, told The News he saw people with bullet wounds to their arms and abdomens. He reported seeing police officers “putting wounded clubbers into the back of pickup truck flatbeds.”
We can confirm this is a mass casualty situation. Support from local/state/federal agencies. We expect to brief media shortly.— Orlando Police (@OrlandoPolice) June 12, 2016
About 60 police cars had locked down a two-mile stretch of Orange Avenue. A mother was frantically trying to find her son who was in the nightclub during the shooting, The News reported.
“It’s just terrible,” she said. “He’s my only child. He’s 32. He’s a good kid… I just happened to get up to go the bathroom at 3 a.m. and I saw a note from his friends.”
In a Twitter post, Orlando police said the gunman was dead inside the club.
Pulse Shooting: The shooter inside the club is dead.— Orlando Police (@OrlandoPolice) June 12, 2016
Shortly after the shooting, police advised residents to avoid the area. The Pulse nightclub posted a frantic warning to its Facebook page, stating “get out of Pulse and keep running.”
A press conference scheduled by police was cancelled in the early morning hours as the area was searched with bomb-sniffing dogs. Police later scheduled a press conference for 7 a.m., according to their Twitter page.
In a separate shooting in Orlando, a gunman shot and killed “The Voice” contestant Christina Grimmie, following a concert. That gunman killed himself after being tackled by Grimmie’s brother, according to multiple reports.