After the worst mass shooting in U.S. history, Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer and Florida Governor Rick Scott both declared a State of Emergency, dedicating government resources to investigate the massacre at the gay nightclub Pulse. Police said 50 people were killed and 53 injured and the gunman was identified as Omar Mateen, who was killed by a SWAT team at the scene. The 29-year-old was an American citizen who lived in Port St. Lucie.
Dyer declared a state of emergency at 10:20 a.m. He also said that a hotline has been set up for family members at 407-246-4357.
We are dealing with something we never imagined. Since the last update, we have gotten better access to the building, cleared the building. It is with great sadness I share that we have 50 casualties, in addition to the shooter. Because of the scale I have called Governor Scott to request a state of emergency and we are issuing a state of emergency in the City. This allows us to bring additional resources to support our efforts.
Our focus in the coming hours will be identifying the victims and notifying the families. We are setting up a hotline for concerned family members – 407.246.4357. The identification process may take some time. We ask for your patience as we want to be accurate. I continue to be proud of how our community has responded.
Scott issued a statement a short time later from Tallahassee. He has arrived in Orlando to meet with officials there. You can read the governor’s state of emergency decree here. Scott called it “clearly an act of terror.”
Today, Governor Rick Scott released the following statement on this morning’s shooting in Orlando.
Governor Scott said, “Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims, families and all those affected by this horrific tragedy. We are a strong and resilient state and we will devote every resource available to assist with the shooting in Orlando. Our state emergency operations center is also monitoring this tragic incident. I have been in constant communication with Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer, Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs and state and local law enforcement this morning. I would like to also thank all the first responders who quickly came to assist and help those in need.”
Governor Scott is traveling to Orlando now to meet with law enforcement and local officials. An updated schedule will be released shortly.