1. News

A timeline of what happened at the Orlando nightclub shooting

Orlando police officers seen outside of Pulse nightclub after a fatal shooting and hostage situation on Sunday in Orlando. The suspected shooter, Omar Mateen, was shot and killed by police. 50 people are reported dead and 53 were injured. [Gerardo Mora | Getty Images]
Published Jun. 13, 2016

A gunman killed 50 people and wounded 53 at a crowded gay nightclub in Orlando early Sunday in the deadliest mass shooting in American history. Here is what authorities know about how the attack developed so far:

Before 2 a.m.: Omar Mateen, a resident of Fort Pierce, Florida, a city about 120 miles from Orlando, parked his van outside Pulse, a gay nightclub. He called 911 shortly before the attack and swore allegiance to the Islamic State.

2:02 a.m.: Mateen entered the club armed with an AR-15-type assault weapon, a handgun and many rounds of ammunition, and opened fire, said John Mina, the Orlando police chief. The gunman was outside the club at some point after the initial shots were fired, the chief said, then returned inside, and "this did turn into a hostage situation."

Police then marshaled forces, bringing in a SWAT team and an armored vehicle. At some point, Mina said, there was contact with the gunman inside. "There was some communication, but we are not going to release that right now," the chief said.

It is unknown, Mina said, whether the gunman was killing others inside the club as the authorities prepared cautiously for a confrontation. "Any time we have a hostage situation, we're definitely going to use extreme measures to make sure we have enough personnel on the scene," Mina said.

3 a.m.: A post on the club's Facebook page read, "Everyone get out of pulse and keep running." At some point, police heard from inside the building that at least 15 people were hiding in a restroom.

5 a.m.: Police began an attempt to rescue the hostages. They detonated two explosives to distract the gunman. Eleven officers entered the club, and shots were again exchanged. Mateen was killed. One officer was shot in the head, but his Kevlar helmet saved him from serious injury, Mina said. At least 30 hostages were found alive.

The gunman was armed with an AR-15-type semi-automatic weapon and a handgun, Mina said.

The AR-15-type semi-automatic weapon is the same type of gun used in the mass shootings in Aurora, Colo.; Newtown, Conn.; and San Bernardino, Calif. Gun control advocates contend that semi-automatic weapons like the AR-15 are a logical choice for mass shootings because of their ability to rapidly fire multiple high-velocity rounds. Defenders of the firearm say it is misguided to blame a gun that is used by millions of owners across the country in a responsible manner. The weapon is legal to buy in most states, including Florida. In 1994, Congress passed an assault weapons ban that prohibited manufacturing AR-15 for civilian sale with large-capacity magazines, bayonets or pistol grips. The ban limited, but did not end, sales of AR-15s. The weapons ban expired in 2004.


  1. Less than a month after being fired, former St. Petersburg Housing Authority CEO Tony Love wants the agency to give him a job running its development nonprofit at the same $157,000 salary. That offer, part of ongoing negotiations over his severance, was rejected by the agency's board.
    Tony Love’s attorney tells the agency that fired him he wants full salary and benefits through 2020. The board rejects his offer.
  2. John Jonchuck returned to a Pinellas County courtroom last month to attend a hearing about whether he was entitled to a new trial. A judge on Tuesday ruled that he is not. SCOTT KEELER  |   Times
    Jonchuck was convicted of first-degree murder in April. He dropped his 5-year-old daughter, Phoebe Jonchuck, off a bridge in 2015.
  3. Ralph Lewis Wald and wife Johnna Lynn Flores leave the Orient Road Jail on May 30, 2013, after Wald was acquitted in the fatal shooting of his wife's lover. [TIMES (2013)]  |  Tampa Bay Times
    An unidentified woman is found dead at their Brandon house. At the same time, the medical examiner confirms the wife has died.
  4. The Florida Department of Health in Hillsborough County identified a positive case of hepatitis A in a food service worker at Hamburger Mary's in Ybor City on Oct. 22, 2018. [JOSH FIALLO | Times] JOSH FIALLO | TIMES  |  JOSH FIALLO | Times
    Slightly more than 200,000 people have been vaccinated this year — a huge jump from the 49,324 people vaccinated in all of 2018.
  5. This satellite image shows Hurricane Michael on Oct. 9, 2018, as it enters the Gulf of Mexico. It made landfall near Mexico Beach in the Panhandle as a Category 5 storm. [Photo courtesy of NOAA] NOAA
    Nearly a year after the storm, 18,000 claims are still open.
  6. Falo Kane, 32, of Clearwater, faces four counts of sexual battery of a physically helpless person and a violation of probation charge, according to police. [CLEARWATER POLICE DEPARTMENT]  |  Clearwater Police Department
    There were four victims, police said. One was in a wheelchair and another was a disabled stroke patient. The accused wrote a letter of apology.
  7. An eighth-grade boy can be seen punching a seventh-grader in a locker room in this screenshot from a video taken inside a Polk County middle school. Twitter
    A black student was slammed to the floor and punched repeatedly by a white classmate following a physical education class last week at Blake Academy in Lakeland.
  8. Workers refuel the tank at a gas station in Jiddah, Saudi Arabia, Tuesday, Sept. 17, 2019. U.S. President Donald Trump declared Monday that it "looks" like Iran was behind the explosive attack on Saudi Arabian oil facilities. He stressed that military retaliation was not yet on the table in response to the strike against a key U.S. Mideast ally. AMR NABIL  |  AP
    Even before Tuesday’s reversal in prices, economists downplayed the prospect that the price spike could send the economy reeling.
  9. Watermans Crossing apartments at 4515 N. Rome Avenue in Tampa. Westside Capital Group
    Jakub Hejl discovered the Tampa Bay area while studying at IMG Academy.
  10. Greco Middle School in Temple Terrace has 183 more students this school year than last. Middle schools grew in enrollment this year, while elementary schools lost more than 1,200 students.  [Times | 2013]
    The 20 day count shows ever more crowding in southeast Hillsborough.