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Shock, sadness as people react to Florida nightclub mass shooting

A gunman killed 50 people at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida on Sunday and wounded 53 others.

This handout photo provided by the Orlando Police Department on 12 June, 2016 shows Orlando, Florida police chief John Mina(R) speaking at a press conference following a mass shooting at the Pulse Night Club in Orlando as mayor Buddy Dyer looks on. An estimated 20 people were killed at a gay nightclub after a heavily armed gunman seized hostages early June 12, prompting a police SWAT team to storm the venue, officials said. Picture: AFP.

JOHANNESBURG - In a shooting that has been described as the worst in US history, people have responded with shock and sadness.

A gunman killed 50 people at the packed Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida on Sunday and wounded 53 others before being killed by police.

The shooter was identified as Omar S. Mateen, a Florida resident who a senior FBI official said might have had leanings toward Islamic State militants. Officials called the rampage a "terrorism incident," but cautioned that the suspected Islamist connection required further investigation.

People took to Twitter to express their feelings about the mass shooting:













A police officer working as a security guard inside the club, which has operated in downtown Orlando since 2004, exchanged fire with the suspect at about 2am, police officials said.

A hostage situation quickly developed, and three hours later SWAT team officers used armored cars to storm the club before shooting dead the gunman.