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Police Identify Suspect in Orlando Nightclub Shooting, His Family Is ‘In Shock’ Over Involvement

Police have identified the shooter in the tragic Orlando nightclub shooting on Sunday, June 12, as Omar Mateen, a 29-year-old from Fort Pierce, Florida.

The suspect, who was shot dead just before 6 a.m., several hours after he opened fire in a packed nightclub, is believed to have been the lone gunman in the rampage, which left at least 50 dead.

According to The Washington Post, one relative said that Mateen’s family is in shock after being told that he was involved, and that the family is “very sorry” about what happened.

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FBI assistant special agent in charge Ron Hopper (center) answers questions from members of the media after a fatal shooting at Pulse nightclub in Orlando on Sunday, June 12, 2016.

“It appears he was organized and well-prepared,” Orlando Police Chief John Mina said in a Sunday morning news conference. Mateen was weilding an assault-type weapon, a handgun and “some type of device,” Mina added.

Though authorities are still investigating the motivations behind the crime, his dad, Mir Seddique, told NBC News that it wasn’t about religion, though his son did get angry after seeing two men kissing a few months ago. 

“We are saying we are apologizing for the whole incident. We weren’t aware of any action he is taking. We are in shock like the whole country,” Seddique said.

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At most recent count, 50 people were killed in the shooting, which one witness told the Los Angeles Times lasted the duration of an entire song. Dozens more were rushed to local hospitals.

The high count of casualties would make Sunday’s incident the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history. The 2007 Virginia Tech shootings had a death toll of 32.

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Omar Mateen, orlando
Omar Mateen

Officials said they have labeled the tragedy a possible “act of domestic terrorism.” The FBI is currently involved in the investigation.

“We had a crime that will have a lasting effect on our community,” Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer said in a news conference Sunday. “We need to stand strong, we need to be supportive of the victims and their families.”

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