Music Matters
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Orlando Starts To Release Names Of Victims


Now we want to take a moment to recap what we know about today's mass-shooting in Florida. Early this morning, a man who the FBI has identified as Omar Mateen opened fire in an Orlando nightclub. More than 300 people were inside at the time. At least 50 people were killed, and dozens more were injured.

The city of Orlando has begun to release the names of those killed. At a press commerce is afternoon, FBI special agent in charge Ronald Hopper described Mateen, a 29-year-old U.S. citizen who was born in New York. Two sources tell NPR that Mateen pledged his allegiance to ISIS in a 9-11 call - 9-1-1 call prior to the attack at the nightclub. They added that there is no current imminent threat to Orlando. Hopper also said that Mateen was also previously known to authorities.


RONALD HOPPER: The FBI first became aware of Mateen in 2013, when he made inflammatory comments to coworkers, alleging possible terrorist ties. The FBI thoroughly investigated the matter, including interviews of witnesses, physical surveillance and records checks. In the course of the investigation, Mateen was interviewed twice. Ultimately, we were unable to verify the substance of his comments and the investigation was closed.

MARTIN: An official with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, ATF, said the past week, Mateen had legally purchased a handgun and a semiautomatic rifle. In Florida, local lawmakers are calling for stricter gun control. Florida State Senator Geraldine Thompson person spoke at a press conference earlier today.


GERALDINE THOMPSON: And the governor and I are going to have a serious discussion about reform because the families not only lost members of their families to this tragedy, but they lost a feeling of safety. And so when we talk about safety, we have to talk about how guns come into the hands of violent and unstable people.

MARTIN: President Obama also talked about gun control in a speech from the White House. And he also called for unity in the face of this attack.


BARACK OBAMA: In the face of hate and violence, we will love one another. We will not give into fear or turn against each other. Instead, we will stand united as Americans to protect our people and defend our nation and to take action against those who threaten us.

MARTIN: The Tony Awards announced that tonight's ceremony will be dedicated to the families and friends of those effected by the shooting. In Orlando, flags have been lowered to half staff. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.