Florida Nightclub Massacre
50 people killed in massacre at Florida gay nightclub, deadliest single shooting in U.S. history by by Hasani Gittens and Helen Kwong
A gunman killed 50 people and injured 53 in a crowded gay nightclub in the tourist hub of Orlando, Florida, early on Sunday before being shot dead by police, authorities said, in what appeared the deadliest mass shooting in American history. The shooter was identified as Omar S. Mateen, a man that a senior FBI official said might have had leanings toward Islamic State militants. Officials described the attack as a “terrorism incident” though cautioned that the suspected Islamist connection required further investigation.
Orlando police officers gather outside of the Pulse Nightclub after a fatal shooting and hostage situation on June 12, 2016. Gerardo Mora / Getty Images
With at least 50 people killed, the massacre early Sunday morning at an Orlando nightclub is the deadliest single-day mass shooting in the modern history of the United States — by nearly double the previous most deadly incident.
Here are America’s deadliest mass shootings in modern times:
At least 50 people are killed and some 50 others are wounded after a gunman opened fire and took hostages at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, early on the morning of Sunday June 12. Officials said a hostage situation developed after the gunman, identified as Omar Mateen, stormed the Pulse Nightclub about 2 a.m.
On April 16, 2007, 23-year-old Virginia Tech student Seung-Hui Cho shot 32 people to death on the Blacksburg, Virginia, campus before killing himself. The dead included 27 students and five faculty members. Another 17 people were injured. Days after the shooting, the worst school shooting in the nation’s history, NBC News received a package from Cho that contained a video of him ranting about rich “brats” and complaining about being bullied.
Students visit a makeshift memorial set up on the campus of Virginia Tech for the students and faculty that lost their lives in the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history on April 18, 2007 in Blacksburg, Va. Evan Vucci / AP File
On Dec. 14, 2012, 20-year-old Adam Lanza killed 28 people, including himself, his mother, 20 elementary school kids and six school staff and faculty at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. Lanza suffered from extreme mental health issues that weren’t treated, and was preoccupied with violence, a report from state officials found. He also had easy access to weapons, the report said.
Gunman Opens Fire at Orlando Nightclub
On Oct. 16, 1991, A 35-year-old named George Hennard crashed his pickup through Luby’s Cafeteria, a packed restaurant in Killeen, Texas. He shot and killed 23 people before shooting and killing himself. Twenty-seven others were wounded. The Texas massacre is the deadliest shooting to not happen at a school in U.S. history. According to a former roommate, Hennard “hated blacks, Hispanics, gays. He said women were snakes.”
On July 18, 1984, James Huberty, a 41-year-old former security guard who had lost his job, opened fire at a McDonald’s in San Ysidro, California, killing 21 employees and customers, including children. A police sniper killed him an hour after he started shooting.
Mass Killings Inspire Copycats, Study Finds
On Aug. 1, 1966, former U.S. Marine Charles Joseph Whitman, 25, killed his mother and wife, then went on top of a tower at University of Texas at Austin and killed 16 others. He also wounded at least 30. Whitman had complained of physical and mental health issues before the attack. He was then shot by a police officer. An autopsy after his death revealed he had a brain tumor, but it was not clear whether that had affected his actions.