Every human life is precious and sacred and killing one is like triggering a genocide. (Al Quran 5:32/33)
Suggested Reading: The Muslim Times’ Collection on Islam’s Condemnation of Terrorism
Editor’s note: Initial estimate of casualties was 20 but unfortunately the final count is 49. The Muslim Times condemns each and very act of terrorism and believes every human life is precious and sacred.
By Ashley Fantz and Faith Karimi, CNN
Orlando, Florida (CNN)
Approximately 20 people are dead inside Pulse nightclub, Orlando Police Chief John Mina said Sunday morning, just hours after a shooter opened fire in the club. At least 42 people have been transported for medical treatment, he said.
Police have shot and killed the gunman, Mina told reporters.
“It’s appears he was organized and well-prepared,” the chief said, adding that the shooter had an assault-type weapon, a handgun and “some type of (other) device on him.”
Orlando authorities said they consider the violence an act of domestic terror. The FBI is involved.
The shooting began around 2 a.m., and an officer responded, Mina said. The officer engaged in a shootout outside the club, after which the gunman ran into the club.
“That turned into a hostage situation,” Mina said. Authorities were getting calls from people inside the club but away from the gunman, the chief said.
More police rushed to the scene and broke down a door with an armored vehicle, helping some 30 clubgoers flee to safety, Mina said. At that point police shot and killed the gunman, he said.
CNN affiliate WKMG video captured clubgoers carrying injured people from the club.
“It’s just shocking,” said Christopher Hansen who was inside Pulse. He heard gunshots, “just one after another after another. It could have lasted a whole song,” he said.