ORLANDO, Fla. – Senator Bill Nelson spoke to the public at 11:50 a.m. and stated that Intelligence Committee Staff from the Counter Terrorism Center in DC, believe that there is some connection between ISIS and the shooter. However, Nelson said that the FBI has not confirmed this. The FBI has said that they believe there are ties to Islamic radicalism.
This information comes down after the mass shooting in the Orlando nightclub, Pulse.
The suspect has been identified as Omar Mateen, a 29-year-old U.S. citizen. Mateen's parents were born in Afghanistan, and he was "on the radar" of U.S. officials for some time, but was not the target of a specific investigation, law enforcement officials told ABC News.
Approximately 50 people are dead and 53 were transferred to local hospitals, including one officer, after a gunman opened fire in an Orlando nightclub. The shooter was gunned down by police at the scene.
There has been a hotline set up that family members can call, though authorities ask for patience in the identification process. The hotline is 407-246-4357.
There is a meeting site for family members at 43 Columbia St. at the Hampton Inn in Orlando. This is to help families and friends reunite that were involved in this incident as well as perhaps get information on those still unaccounted for.
Authorities have asked Governor Rick Scott to declare a state of emergency and the city of Orlando has declared a state of emergency in order to acquire more resources to deal with this tragedy.
David Wyllie from NBC news spoke to the father of the shooter:
President Obama has been briefed on this tragedy and has released a statement:
The President was briefed this morning by Lisa Monaco, Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism, on the tragic shooting in Orlando, Florida. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families and loved ones of the victims. The President asked to receive regular updates as the FBI, and other federal officials, work with the Orlando Police to gather more information, and directed that the federal government provide any assistance necessary to pursue the investigation and support the community.
One Blood has also reached out to the community saying they are in “urgent” need of O Positive, O Negative and AB plasma blood donors following this mass shooting. To find a place where you can donate go to One Blood or call 1-888-9DONATE.
Friends and family can keep track of their loved ones in Orlando with the "Safety Check" setup by Facebook.