The Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the Orlando gay club massacre and says the gunman that slaughtered at least 50 people was one of its fighters. Shooter Omar Mateen, 29, from Port St. Lucie in Florida, opened fire at Pulse night club in the early hours of this morning.
At least 50 people were killed and 53 others were injured in the shooting in the deadliest mass shooting in US history and the first time ISIS has claimed responsibility for an attack US soil.
In total, 39 people were killed inside the club, two outside, and nine others died after being rushed to hospital. A surgeon at Orlando Regional Medical Center said the death toll was likely to climb.
Shortly before the attack, Mateen, who was born in New York to Afghan parents, called 911 and pledged allegiance to ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, law enforcement officials told NBC News.
Islamic State's Amaq news agency said on Sunday that the Islamist militant group was responsible for the shooting.
U.S. officials cautioned, however, that they had no immediate evidence of any direct connection with Islamic State or any other foreign extremist group, nor had they uncovered any contacts between the gunman and any such group.
However Mateen's father, Mir Seddique, told NBC News his son became angry when he saw two men kissing in Miami several months ago.
'This has nothing to do with religion,' he said. '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.'