U.S. President Barack Obama has spoken about the tragic massacre that has claimed the lives of at least 50 people following a mass shooting inside a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida.
Obama says that he spoke with Orlando’s mayor this morning and that they will stand behind both the state of Florida and the gay-lesbian community after this incident, which is believed by investigators to be a hate crime and an act of terrorism.
Police and first responders were also given credit by the president for their quick and effective procedures in a situation that led the Governor of Florida to declare a state of emergency.
President Obama also stated: “In the coming hours and days we will learn about the victims of this tragedy. Their names, their faces and who they were. The joy that they brought to families and friends and the difference they made in this world. Say a prayer for them and say a prayer for their families. That God may give them the strength to bear the unbearable. And that he gives us all the strength to be there for them and the strength and courage to change.”
Authorities say that the shooter has now been identified as Omar Mateen of Port. Lucie, Florida.
At least 53 people were injured in the incident, which took place shortly after 2 a.m. Sunday.