Pulse Shooting: A Timeline of Sunday's Events

Updated:

ORLANDO, Fla. - A gunman opened fire at a gay night club in Orlando early Sunday, leaving at least 50 people dead and 53 wounded before he was killed in a shootout with SWAT team members.

Watch a replay of "Stories of Orlando Strong" here. The 30-minute special that aired on WFTV Channel 9 looked back at the shooting tragedy, stories of hope and survival, and how our communities have pulled together to heal.

Here's a Sunday timeline on the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history:

 

UPDATE 6:43 a.m.

Two more victims of the Pulse nightclub mass shooting were identified by authorities, bringing the total to 23 of the 50 fatalities. 

The newly identified victims are:

  • Simon Adrian Carrillo Fernandez, 31
  • Oscar A. Aracena-Montero, 26

 

Previously released victims' names:

 

  • Mercedez Marisol Flores, 26
  • Xavier Emmanuel Serrano Rosado, 35
  • Gilberto Ramon Silva Menendez, 25
  • Amanda Alvear, 25
  • Martin Benitez Torres, 33
  • Luis Daniel Wilson-Leon, 37
  • Denoka Deidra Drayton, 32
  • Alejandro Barrios Martinez, 21
  • Anthony Luis Laureanodisla, 25
  • Jean Carlos Mendez Perez, 35
  • Franky Jimmy Dejesus Velazquez, 50
  • Darryl Roman Burt II, 29
  • Eddie Jamoldroy Justice, 30
  • Edward Sotomayor Jr. ,34
  • Stanley Almodovar III, 23
  • Luis Omar Ocasio-Capo, 20
  • Juan Ramon Guerrero, 22
  • Eric Ivan Ortiz-Rivera, 36
  • Peter O. Gonzalez-Cruz, 22
  • Luis S. Vielma, 22 
  • Kimberly Morris, 37 

UPDATE 5:33 a.m.

The Associated Press is reporting Islamic State radio in Beirut calls Orlando mass shooter Omar Mateen "one of the soldiers of the caliphate in America."

 

UPDATE 3:50 a.m.

Three more Pulse nightclub shooting victims were identified just before 4 a.m. Monday.

The newly identified victims are:

  • Mercedez Marisol Flores, 26
  • Xavier Emmanuel Serrano Rosado, 35
  • Gilberto Ramon Silva Menendez, 25

 

Previously released victims' names:

  • Amanda Alvear, 25
  • Martin Benitez Torres, 33
  • Luis Daniel Wilson-Leon, 37
  • Denoka Deidra Drayton, 32
  • Alejandro Barrios Martinez, 21
  • Anthony Luis Laureanodisla, 25
  • Jean Carlos Mendez Perez, 35
  • Franky Jimmy Dejesus Velazquez, 50
  • Darryl Roman Burt II, 29
  • Eddie Jamoldroy Justice, 30
  • Edward Sotomayor Jr. ,34
  • Stanley Almodovar III, 23
  • Luis Omar Ocasio-Capo, 20
  • Juan Ramon Guerrero, 22
  • Eric Ivan Ortiz-Rivera, 36
  • Peter O. Gonzalez-Cruz, 22
  • Luis S. Vielma, 22 
  • Kimberly Morris, 37 

 

UPDATE 3:06 a.m.

Three more names released of victims from Sunday's shooting at Pulse nightclub in Orlando.

  • Amanda Alvear, 25
  • Martin Benitez Torres, 33
  • Luis Daniel Wilson-Leon, 37

 

Previously released victims' names:

 

  • Denoka Deidra Drayton, 32
  • Alejandro Barrios Martinez, 21
  • Anthony Luis Laureanodisla, 25
  • Jean Carlos Mendez Perez, 35
  • Franky Jimmy Dejesus Velazquez, 50
  • Darryl Roman Burt II, 29
  • Eddie Jamoldroy Justice, 30
  • Edward Sotomayor Jr. ,34
  • Stanley Almodovar III, 23
  • Luis Omar Ocasio-Capo, 20
  • Juan Ramon Guerrero, 22
  • Eric Ivan Ortiz-Rivera, 36
  • Peter O. Gonzalez-Cruz, 22
  • Luis S. Vielma, 22 
  • Kimberly Morris, 37 

 

UPDATE 2:57 a.m.

Orlando police have confirmed that Eddie Jamoldroy Justice was killed in the Orlando shooting.

 

UPDATE 2:09 a.m.

The city of Orlando released the names of five more shooting victims just after 2 a.m. Monday.

The total number of victims who have been identified increased to 15 with the release.

The newest names released were:

  • Denoka Deidra Drayton, 32
  • Alejandro Barrios Martinez, 21
  • Anthony Luis Laureanodisla, 25
  • Jean Carlos Mendez Perez, 35
  • Franky Jimmy Dejesus Velazquez, 50

 

Previously released victims' names:

  • Darryl Roman Burt II, 29
  • Eddie Jamoldroy Justice, 30
  • Edward Sotomayor Jr. ,34
  • Stanley Almodovar III, 23
  • Luis Omar Ocasio-Capo, 20
  • Juan Ramon Guerrero, 22
  • Eric Ivan Ortiz-Rivera, 36
  • Peter O. Gonzalez-Cruz, 22
  • Luis S. Vielma, 22 
  • Kimberly Morris, 37 

 

 

UPDATE 1:52 a.m.

J.K. Rowling, celebrity creator of the Harry Potter series of books, took to Twitter early Monday to grieve for one of the people killed Sunday in Orlando's Pulse nightclub mass shooting.

Luis Vielma, 22, was named as one of those killed, and Rowling identified him as an employee of Universal Studios who worked the Harry Potter ride.

"I can't stop crying," Rowling said in the tweet.

 

 

 

UPDATE: 1 a.m. - Monday

Early Monday morning, the city of Orlando released two new names of victims killed in Sunday's mass shooting at Pulse nightclub in Orlando.

The names released Monday increased the list of confirmed deaths to 10.

The deaths of Darryl Roman Burt II, 29, and Eddie Jamoldroy Justice, 30, were confirmed by the city just after midnight..

 

UPDATE: Midnight - Monday

Investigators said they heard cellphones ringing among bodies inside Pulse nightclub as mothers and families tried to reach slain loved ones.

Raw: Friend of victim speaks to Channel 9

Across the United States, people are gathering at vigils honoring the victims. In Miami Beach, mourners lit candles, embraced and waived rainbow flags Sunday evening.

Members of LGBT groups and their supporters met in the Boystown neighborhood of Chicago. Among them was Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson, who said the city has stepped up security in gay communities. Also there in solidarity were mothers who have lost their children to gun violence.

Hundreds of people in Austin, Texas, attended an evening vigil at the Capitol that included Muslim leaders and a Christian pastor, the Austin American-Statesman reported.

 

Several hundred people filled the parking lot of a popular LGBT-district bistro in downtown Atlanta, singing, lighting candles and speaking out against the violence that struck Orlando. Matt Garrett helped organize the event, handing out candles and lining up a series of speakers who would address the swelling crowd that spilled into the busy street. 

11 p.m.

The FBI is entering the home of Omar Mateen, who is responsible for the shooting deaths of at least 50 people in downtown Orlando's Pulse nightclub Sunday.

Mateen's home is located in Fort Pierce in St. Lucie County. 

A childhood friend of Mateen, Sean Chagani, sat down with Eyewitness News Sunday evening.

“He never expressed violent behavior,” said Chagani. “He wasn’t like most of my other friends. He was different, shy, and awkward.”

Chagani and Mateen lost touch after high school.

Interview: Childhood friend describes Omar Mateen as 'different'

10:00 p.m.

An eighth victim has been identified in the Pulse nightclub shooting in downtown Orlando. Kimberly Morris, 37, was identified late Sunday.

Getty images
© 2017 Cox Media Group.

These victims were among 50 who lost their lives during an early-morning deadly shooting at Pulse nightclub in downtown Orlando Sunday:  

  • Edward Sotomayor Jr. ,34
  • Stanley Almodovar III, 23
  • Luis Omar Ocasio-Capo, 20
  • Juan Ramon Guerrero, 22
  • Eric Ivan Ortiz-Rivera, 36
  • Peter O. Gonzalez-Cruz, 22
  • Luis S. Vielma, 22 
  • Kimberly Morris, 37 

 

Photos: Victims of Pulse nightclub 

The Orlando Eye changed its colors in memory of those who lost their lives Sunday. 

Orlando Pulse nightclub shooting: What we know about the victims 

 

9:45 p.m. 

Orlando Regional Medical Center release this information late Sunday: 44 adults were admitted, with 9 patient deaths since admission.

Family members of confirmed patients at ORMC may continue visits at the hospital.

Photos: Orlando Strong amid nightclub tragedy

Family members seeking information about loved ones are asked to meet at Beardall Senior Center at 800 South Delaney Avenue, instead of the Hampton Inn & Suites at 43 Columbia Street.

9:00 p.m.

Officials have started removing bodies from inside an Orlando nightclub where at least 50 people were shot and killed.

Sunday night, workers brought four bodies on stretchers out of club Pulse and loaded them into white vans. The action was repeated over and over.

Audio: Full radio interview of Pulse's DJ Infinite

The bodies were then taken to the Orange County Medical Examiner's Office.

Authorities said Omar Mateen opened fire at the nightclub, killing at least 50 people and wounding more than 50 others before he was gunned down by police.

8 p.m.

The ex-wife of the man authorities said killed at least 50 people at an Orlando nightclub spoke at a news conference Sunday night. 

“To be in some way affiliated, at on​e point in my life, to somebody that causes such a tragedy. It shook me,” she said during the evening news conference in Colorado. 

According to the Associated Press, she said Mateen beat her repeatedly while they were married.

The ex-wife told The Washington Post that she met Mateen online about eight years ago and decided to move to Florida and marry him. The ex-wife, who wasn't named in the report, said at first the marriage was normal, but then he became abusive.  

Photos: Inspiring quotes amid tragedy in Orlando

They were together for only a few months and her parents intervened when they learned Mateen had assaulted her. She said he wasn't very religious and gave no signs of radical Islam.

She said he owned a small-caliber handgun and worked as a guard at a nearby facility for juvenile delinquents.  

Mateen's ex-wife said his family was from Afghanistan, but her ex-husband was born in New York. His family later moved to Florida.

7 p.m.

The gay, lesbian and transgender community has seen violence before, from Harvey Milk to Matthew Shepard, and an ever-lengthening list of transgender women. But never anything like this.

Sunday's massacre at a gay nightclub in Orlando grimly changed the equation, stirring communal fears and swiftly prompting tighter security at gay pride events.

The gunman, identified as Omar Mateen of Fort Pierce told his father he had been disturbed by seeing two men kissing in Miami.

A witness, who only gave her first name, Xioamia, talked to Channel 9 about the loss of a friend.

"I will never see him again. I'm concerned about people who died, the victims, " Xioamia said. 

Xioamia said her friend always told her to "live your life to the fullest." 

Raw: Friend of victim speaks to Channel 9

Read:  What We Are Learning About Mateen

Watch:  Live Team Coverage Here

The attack on the Pulse nightclub, which killed at least 50 people and was the deadliest U.S. mass shooting to date, occurred amid numerous events nationwide celebrating LGBT Pride Month. In several other cities hosting events on Sunday -- including block parties in Boston and a festival in Washington -- authorities beefed up the police presence.

This "is a tragic illustration of the legitimate safety fears that those in our LGBT community live with every day," said Mike Rawling, the mayor of Dallas, where extra police were assigned to a neighborhood that is a hub of the local gay community.

6 p.m.

A seventh victim has been identified in the deadly shooting at Pulse nightclub Sunday.

These victims were among 50 who lost their lives during an early-morning deadly shooting at Pulse nightclub in downtown Orlando Sunday:  

  • Edward Sotomayor Jr. ,34
  • Stanley Almodovar III, 23
  • Luis Omar Ocasio-Capo, 20
  • Juan Ramon Guerrero, 22
  • Eric Ivan Ortiz-Rivera, 36
  • Peter O. Gonzalez-Cruz, 22
  • Luis S. Vielma, 22 
  • Kimberly Morris, 37 

 

A woman whose cousin was shot said he is in critical condition at a hospital.

Edward Sotomayor - Pulse nightclub shooting victim
© 2017 Cox Media Group.

LaToya Hall said her cousin Keon Carter was in the Pulse club early Sunday when the gunman opened fire.

Hall said her cousin is alert at Orlando Regional Medical Center. She said he tried to hold her hand and turn his eyes to look at her.

Hall said many people are having trouble locating victims because they are being listed under fake names. 

UPDATE 5 p.m.

The Orlando Fire Department said the death toll in the downtown Orlando nightclub mass shooting has risen to 59.

However, the Orlando Police Department is still saying the death toll is 50, contrary to what the fire department has released. 

Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer said of the victims, 39 were killed at the club and 11 people died at hospitals.

Photos: Orlando Strong amid nightclub tragedy

Dyer said that initially officers mistakenly thought the gunman had strapped explosives to the dead victims and that the club was booby-trapped. A bomb robot sent back images of a battery piece next to a body.

Dyer said that held up paramedics from going in until it was determined it was something that fell out of an exit sign or a smoke detector.

The robot was sent in after SWAT team members put explosive charges on a wall and an armored vehicle knocked the wall down in an effort to rescue hostages.

A law enforcement official said Mateen made a 911 call from the club, professing allegiance to the leader of the Islamic State, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

The law enforcement official is familiar with the investigation but was not authorized to discuss the matter publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity.

It was the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history.

Authorities were investigating the attack on the Florida dance club as an act of terrorism. 

4 p.m. 

The city of Orlando released the names of six victims whose next of kin have been notified. 

These victims were among 50 who lost their lives during an early-morning deadly shooting at Pulse nightclub in downtown Orlando Sunday:  

The city continues to reach out to the families of victims and will continue to update the post here

“Thank God we were in the back. We’re a tight community. This has made us closer,” said witness Sam Imundi. 

Orlando police Chief John Mina said during a news conference that the gunman, Omar Mateen, was shot during an exchange of gunfire.  

“Everybody was having fun. I hear a loud ‘bang!’ You just see people drop. You hear yelling and more commotion. I’m getting covered in blood,” witness Dontei Martinez told Channel 9. 

If you're a concerned family member of #PulseNightclubShooting shooting call: 407-246-4357.

The FBI said agents twice investigated Mateen, but closed the cases after interviewing him.

FBI agent Ronald Hopper said Sunday that Mateen had been interviewed in 2013 and 2014.

Hopper said agents first investigated Mateen after he made inflammatory comments to co-workers alleging possible ties to terrorists.

Mateen was interviewed twice, and when investigators were unable to verify the details of his comments, the FBI closed the probe.

Photos: Orlando nightclub shooting leaves dozens dead

In 2014, the agency looked into potential ties connecting Mateen to Moner Mohammad Abusalha, the first American to carry out a suicide attack in Syria. Like Mateen, Abusalha lived in Fort Pierce.

Hopper said agents determined that contact was minimal and did not constitute a substantive relationship or a threat at that time.

Mateen was 29 years old and born in New York. The FBI said he referred to the Islamic State in a 911 call before the slayings.

3 p.m.

The Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the deadly downtown Orlando mass shooting, according to Reuters. 

Orlando resident Brand White was hurt during the mass shooting at Pulse nightclub Sunday that claimed the lives of 50 people and injured 53 others.  

"We are dancing and all of a sudden it just started like a rolling thunder, loud and everything went black," said Orlando resident Brand White, who was shot.  

The 30-year-old was with his cousin, who mentioned something about "a guy with a bomb." After that, White said, his memory is fuzzy; he said he doesn't recall leaving the club or who took him to the hospital.

White was shot in the shoulder.

His cousin was unaccounted for -- no one had heard from him as of 2:45 p.m.

Another man, Brett Rigas, said he and his partner were dancing when they heard shots.

Rigas was shot in the arm and hid behind a bar.

About five minutes later, authorities came in and told everyone to put their hands up and run out.

Rigas said he saw bodies as he ran out.

2 p.m.

President Obama spoke Sunday during a news conference about the deadly mass shooting at a downtown Orlando nightclub. 

Obama said the U.S. won't give in to fear and that the country will stand united to “protect Americans against those who threaten the country.” 

Obama called the nightclub shooting an “act of terror” and an “act of hate.”

Police increase patrols nationwide:

Police departments across the country are increasing patrols near locations frequented by the LGBT community after a gunman killed 50 people at a gay nightclub in Orlando.

In Los Angeles, the mayor says a heavily armed person who was headed to a gay pride parade had been arrested by Santa Monica police. Mayor Eric Garcetti says the arrest was completely unrelated to the Orlando nightclub shooting.

Officer Ernesto Rodriguez of Miami Beach Police Department says the agency is saddened by the massacre and out of an abundance of caution will step up patrols. Boston Pride organizers plan to hold a moment of silence at this weekend's scheduled block parties to honor the Orlando victims and police there said there will be a heavier presence at those events.  

The Baltimore Police Department says it is reaching out to the city's LBGT community to discuss concerns and safety after the Orlando massacre. 

1 p.m.

A U.S. official told CNN that Omar Mateen called 911 to pledge allegiance to ISIS, just before the deadly shooting at Pulse nightclub in downtown Orlando. 

Channel 9’s Shannon Butler spoke with officers who first responded to Sunday’s shooting at Pulse nightclub in downtown Orlando, which left 50 people dead and dozens of others injured. 

Gunshots could be heard inside the building as the officers tried to find a way to rescue the victims and get in to stop the shooter. 

When they opened the door, they were engulfed in a chaotic, horrific scene, the officers said. 

“As they were going in, people were running out,” they said. “The screams were so loud you couldn’t hear the person next to you.”

The father of Omar Mateen said he's not sure why his son would have fired on a group of people,  but that he had become angry a couple of months ago when he saw two men kissing on a Miami street.

“We are apologizing for the whole incident. We weren’t aware of any action he was taking. We are in shock, like the whole country,” Mir Seddique told national news outlet.

Seddique said he doesn’t believe the mass shooting had anything to do with religion.

Police said Mateen was a U.S. citizen, born in New York City. 

11 a.m. 

The shooter at an Orlando nightclub used an AR-15-type assault rifle on all the victims, police said. 

Officials said 50 were killed at Pulse nightclub, making it the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history. 

Police Chief John Mina said at a Sunday news conference that the shooter used the assault rifle, with unknown rounds, and also had a handgun. 

The shooter was identified as Omar Mateen of Fort Pierce in St. Lucie County. Mateen was shot and killed by officers responding to the shooting. 

According to Sen. Bill Nelson, Mateen might have had “ties to terrorism.”

Dr. Mike Cheatham is a trauma surgeon at Orlando Regional Medical Center, where 46 patients were taken. The majority are in critical condition.

Cheatham said, "I think we will see the death toll rise." 

10:30 a.m.

Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer said there were 50 casualties and there are 53 more hospitalized after a mass shooting at Pulse nightclub in downtown Orlando.

Police said three women were taken hostage by the gunman into a bathroom.

“Today we’re dealing with something never imagined and is unimaginable.  “It is with great sadness that I share we have not 20, but 50 casualties,” Mayor Buddy Dyer said Sunday at a news conference, hours after the shooting.

Dyer said the shooter used an assault rifle on all those killed.

"There's blood everywhere," Dyer said.

Dyer asked Florida Gov. Rick Scott to declare a state of emergency for Orlando in the wake of the shooting.

“The focus right now is identifying the victims and notifying families,” Dyer said.

But it will be some time before all of the victims are identified, Orlando Police Chief John Mina said. 

"We ask people be patient," Mina said. "Unfortunately, there are many victims inside."

“This is a tragedy, not only for our city, but the entire nation,” said Mina. 

9:45 a.m. update

ABC News identified the shooter as Omar S. Mateen of Port St. Lucie, Florida.

READ: WHAT WE ARE LEARNING ABOUT MATEEN

                                           WATCH: LIVE TEAM COVERAGE HERE

7:14 a.m.

During a news conference Sunday morning, Florida Department of Law Enforcement spokesman Danny Banks officially classified the shootings at Pulse Nightclub as an "act of terrorism."

About 20 people were killed during the incident, officials said.

Raw: OPD, FBI, mayor news conference on mass shooting at nightclub

The FBI, along with numerous other agencies, was investigating the shooting and it was not clear if it was an act of domestic or foreign terrorism.

There was no indication that more shootings were planned in Orlando or the state of Florida, Banks said.

During the same press conference, Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer confirmed that numerous people were killed during the attack.

"Tonight, we had a crime that will have a lasting effect on our community," he said. 

Raw: Robot sent into club to check for suspicious device 

Orlando Police Chief John Mina said the department was currently working to remove any "devices" the shooter may have left behind.

An OPD officer working at Pulse was the first to respond and exchange gunfire with the shooter, Mina said. 

The shooter holed up in a bathroom with hostages and at about 5 a.m. "the decision was made to rescue the hostages that were in there," Mina said.

During the assault, "our officers shot the suspect," he said. 

The suspect "had a device on him," prompting a search for others that may be at the scene, he said. 

7:25 a.m.

Police said approximately 20 people have been killed inside a Florida nightclub, and at least 42 were wounded.

Orlando Police Chief John Mina says authorities have not determined an exact number of people killed, but that "approximately 20" have died.

Raw: OPD, FBI, mayor news conference on mass shooting at nightclub

Florida Department of Law Enforcement Special Agent in Charge Danny Banks says the mass shooting is being investigated as an act of terrorism. He says authorities are looking into whether the early Sunday incident was an act of domestic or international terror, and if the shooter was a lone wolf.

Mina said the shooter was armed with an assault-type rifle, a handgun and some type of suspicious device. Police had said previously on Twitter that there was a "controlled explosion" at the scene of the shooting at Pulse Orlando, a popular gay dance club. Mina says that noise was caused by a device intended to distract the shooter.

   ------

5:55 a.m.

Police said the person who opened fire inside a popular Florida nightclub was shot.

Orlando Police did not immediately provide further details on the department's official Twitter account on Sunday. It was not immediately clear how the shooter died. Police described the shooting as a "mass casualty situation" and said local, state and federal agencies were involved in the investigation.

It was not immediately clear how many people were wounded in the shooting, or if any of the victims had died. Police have told people to stay away from the area and said a noise in the vicinity was a "controlled explosion." No further details were provided on the explosion.

Dozens of emergency vehicles have swarmed the area around the club.

The club, Pulse Orlando, earlier posted on its own Facebook page just after 2 a.m.: "Everyone get out of pulse and keep running."

   ------

5:15 a.m.

Police said a loud noise near the scene of a reported shooting at a nightclub in Florida was a "controlled explosion."

Orlando Police said on the department's official Twitter account Sunday that media should avoid "reporting inaccuracies." No further details were immediately provided about the explosion.

Police have said "multiple injuries" were reported following the incident at the Pulse Orlando nightclub near Orange and Kaley Avenue. The department also advised people to stay away from area.

Multiple emergency vehicles have reportedly responded, including the Orlando Fire Department's bomb squad and hazardous material team.

Pulse Orlando earlier posted on its own Facebook page just after 2 a.m.: "Everyone get out of pulse and keep running."

   ------

4:50 a.m.

Orlando Police said they are responding to a shooting at a nightclub in Florida.

A post on the department's official Twitter account early Sunday morning says "multiple injuries" have been reported following the incident at the Pulse Orlando nightclub near Orange and Kaley Avenue. The department also advises people to stay away from area.

Multiple emergency vehicles have reportedly responded, including the Orlando Fire Department's bomb squad and hazardous material team.

Pulse Orlando earlier posted on its own Facebook page: "Everyone get out of pulse and keep running."

The incident follows the fatal shooting on Friday of 22-year-old singer Christina Grimmie, who was killed after her concert in Orlando by a 27-year-old Florida man who later killed himself. Grimmie was a YouTube sensation and former contestant on "The Voice."