Wednesday, May 23, 2018
Public safety

Live now: Obama visits Orlando as city grieves over Pulse nightclub massacre

ORLANDO — President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden are expected to visit the city today following the terror attack at a gay nightclub that left 49 people dead and another 53 wounded.

The president plans to meet with victims' families as well as the injured and the doctors and first responders involved in the incident. A gunman on Sunday burst into Pulse nightclub about 2 a.m., shooting rifle bullets around the building. It was the worst mass shooting in American history.

Full report: Complete coverage of the Pulse nightclub shootings in Orlando

The gunman, 29-year-old Omar Mateen, of Fort Pierce, died hours later in a shootout with police. Authorities said he had taken hostages in a bathroom at Pulse. Obama has called Mateen a homegrown extremist.

As of 7 a.m., no public schedule was available on the White House website, and more specific details of Obama and Biden's visit were not available.

Pulse remains a crime scene as FBI investigators try to map out the contours of the massacre — where every victim fell and where every bullet landed.

The agency, along with local law enforcement and political officials, called a news briefing Wednesday afternoon but released few updates on the investigation.

The state Department of Agriculture released licensing records on Wednesday that showed Mateen, a security guard certified to carry a weapon on duty, was adept with guns.

The people of Orlando, meanwhile, moved into a new stage of grief, beginning to memorialize individual victims with wakes and funerals, even as doctors performed more surgeries on the wounded and broadcast television reporters set up for interviews on street corners.

Check tampabay.com for updates on the President's visit to Orlando later Thursday.

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