ORLANDO, Fla. (WTNH/AP) – Police are releasing more of the names of the at least 50 people killed in the Orlando nightclub massacre and we’re learning two of them are Connecticut and Massachusetts natives.
Friends say- 37-year-old Kimberly Morris is among the confirmed dead. Her Facebook page says she’s a Torrington, Connecticut native and moved to Orlando. Friends knew her as “KJ” and she was working in the Pulse nightclub as a bouncer at the time.
Also, among the dead is Springfield, Massachusetts native Stanley Manolo Almodovar, III. Almodovar lived in Clermont, Florida.
This investigation is only beginning as police piece together what happened before and during that massacre. It is now the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history.
Authorities are revealing new details about the gunman Omar Mateen and we are learning new details as people were trapped for hours inside Pulse nightclub. According to police, the 29-year-old arrived at the club armed with an assault rifle, a handgun, and rounds of ammunition. Authorities say Mateen called 9-1-1 after the shooting began to pledge his allegiance to ISIS.
We heard from a mother who learned her son was among the dead and those frightening moments from inside the nightclub.
“He said he was gonna die and he loved me, that was the last thing I heard,” said Mina Justice.
“Everybody just dropped to the ground and then people started running,” said Tiffany Johnson, bartender.
SWAT officers exchanged gunfire with the Mateen and he was shot and killed by police. He was reportedly known to law enforcement, but was not the target of an investigation. The FBI says agents investigated Mateen twice but closed the cases after interviewing him. Monday, the FBI continues to search Mateen’s home in Fort Pierce.
A gunman wielding an assault-type rifle and a handgun opened fire inside a crowded gay nightclub early Sunday, killing 49 people before dying in a gunfight with SWAT officers, police said. It was the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history.
Authorities were investigating the attack on the Florida dance club as an act of terrorism. The gunman’s father recalled that his son recently got angry when he saw two men kissing in Miami and said that might be related to the assault.
The shooter called 911 shortly before the attack and referenced ISIS, FBI agent Ronald Hopper said.
At least 53 people were hospitalized, most in critical condition, officials said. A surgeon at Orlando Regional Medical Center said the death toll was likely to climb.
“There’s blood everywhere,” Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer said.