Bondi calls nightclub a war zone
Florida attorney general says this was act of radical Islam
ORLANDO, Fla. – The morning after a gunman shot dead 49 people at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida attorney general Pam Bondi said the club looked night a war zone and called the massacre an act of radical Islam.
"They want us to live in terror. They want us to live in fear. They want us to lock ourselves in our homes, but that's not what we're going to do. We're Americans," Bondi said at a news conference not far from the Pulse, now the scene of the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. History.
Omar Mateen, 29, of Fort Pierce, Florida, carried an assault rifle and a pistol into the packed Pulse club about 2 a.m. Sunday and started shooting.
In addition to the people killed, he wounded at least 53 others, police said.
During the attack, Mateen called 911 to pledge allegiance to the Islamic State terror group and mentioned the Boston Marathon bombers, according to a U.S. official.
After a standoff of about three hours, while people trapped inside the club desperately called and messaged friends and relatives, police crashed into the building with an armored vehicle and stun grenades. They killed Mateen after the rampage -- the deadliest terror attack in the United States since 9/11.
"It appears he was organized and well-prepared," Orlando police Chief John Mina said. Authorities said they haven't found any accomplices.
Bondi said she shares the grief of dozens of families whose lost loved ones.
"I'm a career prosecutor, and I've prosecuted many homicides, and I still keep in touch with my victim's families," Bondi said. "I've had a special place in my heart for families."
Victims advocates from all over the state have been activated to help, and 14 are already in Orlando meeting with the city of Orlando and the FBI.
"They're well trained in victim advocacy with people who have lost loved ones," Bondi said.
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