In ‘hail of gunfire,’ Orlando officer hit during shootout — saved by Kevlar helmet

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

ORLANDO, Florida — A gay nightclub in Orlando was the scene early Sunday, June 12th of the worst terror attack in U.S. history since 9/11.

50 people were killed inside the Pulse club and at least 53 people were injured, police say. The gunman was Omar Saddiqui Mateen of Fort Pierce, Florida, a law enforcement source told CNN.

Orlando police shot and killed Mateen.

Law enforcement sources told CNN that the suspect had possible explosive devices strapped to his body and in his vehicle, but a U.S. official said later that no explosives were found.

At least nine officers were involved in the shootout, Mina said. Several coroner vans were seen traveling toward the nightclub.

One officer suffered an eye injury when a bullet struck his Kevlar helmet, said Danny Banks, special agent in charge of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement’s Orlando bureau. The helmet saved the officer’s life, Banks said.

Orlando authorities said they consider the violence an act of domestic terror. The FBI is involved. While investigators are exploring all angles, they “have suggestions the individual has leanings towards (Islamic terrorism), but right now we can’t say definitely,” said Ron Hopper, assistant special agent in charge of the FBI’s Orlando bureau.

Authorities are also looking into the possibility the attack was a hate crime, a law enforcement source told CNN.

“It’s appears he was organized and well-prepared,” Orlando Police Chief John Mina said early Sunday. The shooter had an assault-type weapon, a handgun and “some type of (other) device on him.”

Officials, aided by the FBI, warned that a lengthy investigation was ahead, given the number of victims and the scope of the violence.

“There’s blood everywhere,” U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson told reporters. “There’s an enormous amount of evidence to be collected.”

It’s just shocking,” said Christopher Hansen, who was inside Pulse when he heard gunshots, “just one after another after another.”

“It could have lasted a whole song,” he said.

Hansen was getting a drink at the bar about 2 a.m. when he “just saw bodies going down.”

Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer said he had declared a state of emergency for the city and has requested the governor do the same for the state.

Before Sunday, the deadliest shootings in U.S. history were at Virginia Tech in 2007 and Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012, with 32 and 27 killed.

3 comments

  • grunt

    Is that helmet part of the military-style equipment that Barack Hussein Obama and his friends don’t want the police to have?

    • Opinion8d

      Exactly my thought too! The big, bad militarized police -the ones who are so intimidating (at least to the BLM crowds), at the same guys expected to run in FIRST to keep people safe….

  • Clavius

    It’s amazing how much damage this muslim was allowed to do. I guess he was smart enough to know the gay club would be an easy target with many unarmed liberals. 53 democrat votes were lost in Florida.

Comments are closed.

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.