"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 other reports, police were said to have stormed the nightclub when they had been made aware that a number of people were being held hostage by the terrorist. A gunfight ensued and police killed the terrorist, who has since been identified as Omar Siddiqui Matteen, an American born to immigrants from Afghanistan.
The Orlando terror attack could have been much worse, according to President Obama. He praised the first responders for their bravery and credits them with having saved lives.
"These are the kinds of sacrifices that our law enforcement officers make every single day for all of us and we can never thank them enough."
"No act of hate or terror will ever change who we are or the values that make us Americans... This massacre is, therefore, a further reminder of how easy it is for someone to get their hands on a weapon that lets them shoot people in a school, or in a house of worship, or a movie theater, or in a nightclub. And we have to decide if that's the kind of country we want to be."
"We'll learn about the victims of this tragedy, the names, the faces, who they were, the joy they brought to families and to friends."
[Photo by Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP Images]