Twenty people are dead after a shooting at Orlando's Pulse nightclub in what investigators are calling an act of terrorism, Orlando Police Chief John Mina said at a morning news conference.
Sources have confirmed to CBS News that authorities are investigating whether the suspect, who has been named as 29-year-old Omar Mateen of Port St. Lucie, had ties to Islamic terrorism. Mateen is a U.S. citizen with no apparent criminal history, according to sources. A gunman took scores of people hostage overnight inside the nightclub between 2:00 a.m. and 5:00 a.m.; about 42 people were taken to area hospitals, Mina said.
Officers killed the gunman in a shoot out and referred to him as a "lone wolf." He was carrying an assault rifle, a handgun and was possibly wearing an explosive "device." The Orange County Sheriff's Office hazardous device team is now searching the area.
About 30 people were "saved during the rescue," Mina said. About 320 people were in the club when the hostage situation unfolded.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation is leading the investigation. Agent Ron Hopper said they cannot rule this out as an act of domestic terrorism and that the suspect, who is not from Orlando, may have leanings toward extreme Islamic ideologies.