Police: Approximately 20 Killed in Orlando Nightclub 'Pulse' Shooting

Police investigating shooting as domestic act of terror.
24:04 | 06/12/16

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Transcript for Police: Approximately 20 Killed in Orlando Nightclub 'Pulse' Shooting
This is an ABC news special. Reporting was a mass casualty situation in Orlando police FBI mirror on the scene want to go to that press conference right now. Tonight our community witness starts. This stay very horrific crime. Many lives were lost and many more individuals were impacted by witnessing. The crime. Many workers saved however by the heroic efforts of the men and women TV. The ship orange county sheriff's office. Seminole county sheriff's office. We have quite great cooperation from that the only and the FBI all our law enforcement agencies. Fire departments from Orlando Seminole county and orange Cali. And all of the hospital personnel that have been working through the night. We are strong and resilient community. Tonight we had a crime they'll have a lasting effect. On our community we need to stand strong we need to be supportive. Of the victims and their families who asked chief bid to explain what happened. Good morning sort approximately zero to 2 hours this morning. We had an officer working at polls nightclub. Who responded. Two shots fired. Our officer. Engaged in a gun battle with that suspect. The suspect at some point went back in inside the club or more shots were fired. This did turn into a hostage situation. From there. Obviously multiple officers for a various agencies responded. Swat team responded. At approximately. 0500 this morning. You're 500 hours this morning. The decision was made due rescue hostages that were in there. Paris swat officers. Exchanged gunfire with the suspect the suspect is dead he appeared to be carrying a rifle assault type rifle and they came yeah. Pat and had some type of device on hand. That's what we're doing right now. Checking. The area where devices there are multiple people that are dead inside I don't give anyone a number right now but most people are dead inside Apple's nightclub. And at least 42 people have been transported. To various hospitals around so did I had an exact count. Obviously our condolences go out to be friends and family. I was gonna continue. Word FBI and our armed law enforcement and art and sheriff's office bonus for an investigation. And at this alternative to share. Think she's. While this certainly do see. Tragedy o'clock. Jittery America us live that this community is resilient. And businesses retirement which we all come together. The orange county sheriff's office so responded along with the Orlando police to vomit. TBN news this event. There was this new shares. Involved with the Orlando police personnel on the initial entry just after 2 AM this morning. In addition to that members of ma hazardous device team. Responded. And the have been engaged in helping to secure the scene is will. We have had as many as about a hundred LaMont Bruce and they. Actively engaged in this incident. Will also reiterate that this is a collaborative effort between our schools state. And local law enforcement authorities. At this time these symptoms swollen intelligence exchange center has been activated that is our intelligence. Sharing. Consortium for this region. We will be working along. With the FB. As well as the other law enforcement agencies as this investigation. Continues. Again what I would say to our community is that. If you are aware of any of the activities that may have lit up to this horrific scene to share that information at your local law enforcement authorities. As we move forward we will make. Everything food that we can to ensure that this community remains a safe and secure. Community. We have that commitment from all of the local law enforcement davis'. We have multiple sheriff's offices and police agencies who have committed to work today and and double. And if you see some suspicious type activity. We have sale of this community in the past that. I expectation is that she's say something about it if there's any thing that looks un usual. At this point this is an innocent then as I see it that. We considered it less of as the domestic. Terrorist incidents. At this form I believe the knicks beat is going to be. The supervisor agent in charge the regional all the water department of law enforcement officer. All of this Danny banks. Thank you sheriff. Already there ever read a couple of things that Girardi said but importantly I know one of the most important questions. State and even national news. We consider this an act of terrorism absolutely we are investigating this from all parties perspective. As an act of terrorism. Anytime that we have potentially dozens of victims and any abort me. I think we can qualify. Terrorist activity whether that's a domestic terrorist activity and international and certainly something. The bottom of glad to have. The partnerships that we've already spoken about ticketing partnership with the FBI here call one of the important things and obviously we'll get to the bottom up. Is hard that we had any indeed indicator before this event happened. Today all we will have some more information I'm sure we'll come into all of you about. Who this individual. Is was Gil Mon wharf does he have any associates. Those are certainly all of the things that will be looked into now as portable. Intelligence and investigative activities. The state of Florida is Thursday. State. Certainly a lot of different reasons one of them tourism and our industry and businesses here. We have no suggestion that there's any threat to either of those either today or in the near future. But that's certainly hasn't been so all right now it's important message we want to put out as we have no indication. Other types of activities. Similar to last exactly. Either in the state of Florida or anywhere else in the nation right now but we are putting every resource collective resource that we have together. To validate that statement and to ensure the safety of the remainder of citizens not only through today but through the next. As the sheriff said I really want to reiterate what. Or see something say something campaign his ballot it works. We want to encourage people to use that as you come up with the and you're aware of information. That is concerning to you it's concerning to us. If you're aware of information relative to people leader conversations social media for actions of people or community that you believe that threatened. The rest of us all please let law enforcement. Use those tools to let off law enforcement be aware of that information so that we can act on it. I'll turn over the rest the interview now to our assistant special agent in charge for the FBI homeland office Ron Paul for. Thank you Danny. Let me start by saying and offer the condolences to all the friends of family members. That are victims in this senseless tragic act of violence this morning. FBI stand shoulder to shoulder with everyone you see here to address this matter. We are not just looking at this from one perspective I'll tell you that every resource. In the FBI will be brought to bear on this investigation. And Soledad you know echo what mr. banks to set in that. At this time at this particular time there's no reason to believe we have no credible were singular information to suggest that there's any further threat. Orlando or the surrounding area or anywhere else as it relates to this particular incident. I would caution everyone to be mindful that the FBI is known for slow methodical. Detailed investigations we will follow the facts we will see where they lead us to think we will take them to the ultimate and there's nothing we won't do to get to the bottom of this case and we will be prepared to prevent any information we can. When a name and went in we can and are able to presented to you. We look forward being is completely transparent as possible. I'll tell you that we here in the Orlando region especially with the FBI and partnerships we share here. We take that see something say something one step further. If you see something and you say something. We will do something. So if you have some information no matter how small you make think it may be. That would relate back to today's events please share with us and I would urge you to called the 1800 call FBI. Public access line. We have phones to set are standing by to take any type of leader information whatsoever. We're conducting countless interviews and you'll be seeing a huge presence from the FBI in the coming days to resolve this matter. Or questions they did want to add more things. There were at least nine officers that were involved. In the shooting the suspect one of our officers was injured it appears that his Kevlar helmet saved his life. Who he is a injury to resign will take the bullet did hit his Kevlar helmet. Soon nine officers involved in the shooting in. One officer injured but not that serious and some spectacular save his life. So I think we'll take questions after. You know what. They're turning to think about the gunman over today FBI. A yeah. Then it's. Com we'll look didn't come probably in that in the region point eight that we don't want to give you exact be good several people transport the hospital. There unfortunately there are people. It we're trying to clear that. The pulse nightclub a faulty devices. Have to get back behind a device on the suspect himself. And possibly his horses were trying to hear all that. Unfortunately there are some people who have succumbed to gunshot wounds maybe around forty inside and that I love. The report. Retail night here Heinlein. Once great. Stop suspect. In there and. Yeah. Actually serve again 0200 hours are officer's car officer whose work and actually their response to shots fired. He and then two other officers exchanged gunfire with the suspect. This developed into a hostage situation. So I write about. Little after 5 this morning. Pardon we made the decision to go in a rescue you've been contacted by people. In the bathroom. Nearby at least fifteen people entering this effort area. And are our biggest concern was due to loss of life we want to save his people so we did and entry and exchanged gunfire with the suspect again after seven explosive devices were used as well as are her bear that was used as you. Get through the wall. And from. For mayor we keep guns at par with the suspect. And he was dead at that scene right officers did a great job swat team did a great job or at least thirty people thirty people who were saved during that risk. Yeah probably. I would say at this time we're X we're looking into all angles right now we do have suggestions that that individual may have leanings towards that. That particular. Ideology the right now we can't say definitively so we're still running everything ground. From what we know so far that had. We don't know that had any specific impact on the actions taken this evening not yet. Yeah about 42 taking 23 area hospitals. And approximately forty dead inside about one giving exact number of tours yeah. The question was it was tied any type of terrorist activity or Islamic state activity and that's we're always looking for any type. In any mass shooting situation such as this. TV really. It's. Not right okay. Absolutely not there's no indication that this was related today Christine in any case. Good. Here. We can't inside. Or outside. Right at right at the entrance. We believe. Resolved or the investigation. Do you think that it's nothing compared with a winning here. Our officers shot suspect. We're we're check in the area there there were some devices found on those. A noon if there's a real or not soon. Orange County explosive team is checking. Do for devices right now. He's got to realize this. Where the right. It appears he was organizing. Experience. I don't have the exact this. He's not from this. Can't comment on whether he a citizen or not this time he was still trying to positively identified him as the suspect would make it right now. Here's. How were looking in all these right now we don't leave any stone unturned so I said there's a possibility we will look at everything. Yeah. Yet there was a loud report of shots fired near orange see that turned out BIQ there was. Some type of disturbance related to all the people who. Are responding. That was take care if there could be new shots are errors. Yeah. No no witness accounts check executives were aware of I'll bet that. Right so the officer was working extra DD in full uniform at the nightclub. And heads at about 0200 hours. He responded to gunfire and that point. Engaged in a gun battle with the suspect unknown if he hit the suspect with bad time. Two other officers. We're were nearby and also engaged the suspect. As well and like so we don't know if he was hit during that exchange Fred that did turn into a hostage situation. And obviously swat team multiple agencies responded that I indicate whether they hunt continues. Good night after he went bad news next. That's all part of the investigation. A note this time we get in we had indications that we're talking 340 people hold in the club when he was open tonight. Like said. We rescued about thirty people about 42 people were transported to area hospital. Meaning it looked like I'm not saying the main thing. Absolutely. Soon. We reading contacted by multiple people from with inside the club we'll collided in a separate or. Of the club so we made the decision. You do explosive entry on the outside but to get to those people. We also use the new armored vehicle to help to keep that wall and from there we were able to you. Rescue people. And or swat team at that time encountered the suspect. Somewhere in that area and here's your one of the door ranchers this and and shot and killed him. Now the going. Did you get there always is a year when you're out here were due to each reactionary devices and work. Well. Based on swat team members season's record of ours just for that it says it's distract the suspect. Fit to gain that advantage. They'll all be all be treated for gunshot wounds that he'd give the exact distance. What about the right thing says. It's. Well our officers our officers are highly trained for that situation that we take all that it now. The number. What is. Bugs you will all go to work together to investigate this from start finish. An FBI will be will be investigated. Investigative agency for this incident. Florida department law enforcement will assist with the actual officer involved shooting portion. Of the case. I'm. So no we just know that he has something on him that his sister we'll see suspicious device this past try to verify. We'll miss the next update at 930 bell will be updated it and it's. Here yeah. Are you. Yeah program. Up to twenty people dead in what may be the deadliest terror attack in America since 9/11 wanted to straight. To Pierre Thomas purely learned so much there from the police from the mayor from the sheriff in in that department they are not treating this. As an act of terror an act of domestic terror. According to the sheriff it unfolded shortly after 2 AM this morning with a burst of gunfire the gunman confronted by a police officer on the scene. At around 5 AM after multiple shooting they decided to go in and rescue situation because hostages. Had been taken the police reported that up to thirty people may have been saved right there but the headline there Pierre Thomas this is being treated as an act of terror. Absolutely George just an incredible scene described there shootout. At the nightclub. Using a bear kept a crashed through a wall hostages. Being taken and again. When he people dead one of the things that struck me was that they will use every available through. And run this down the FBI stating that. The suspect appears to have radical. Islamic leanings. Investigating that they want to know if there's a long wolf's situation if that person was radicalized on the Internet if they had ties to anyone overseas again. Every available tool are being told by sources will be used to look at this situation again so many dads so many wounded just or rip. It's a tool that's right they're not prepared to Syria where that person was a citizen or not they are saying they believe now that there's no credible. Indications there's any threat anywhere else either in Orlando Florida or anywhere else in the country right now are so they're saying they have no indication. GAAP appear when he of the things we learned from that briefing right there is that this gunman. Very well prepared assault rifle a handgun and some kind of suspicious device on his person perhaps in his car. Absolutely when I was talking to sources is warning before that briefing. It was pretty clear according to sources at this person or put a lot of time and effort into the target at what he was going to do. Law enforcement officials again because of the scale of this because of all those people shot. That's one of the reasons why they're looking at this as an act of domestic terrorism we're being told by sources that they have a pretty good IPO on who this is but. They want to confirm it went down all leads looking at all known databases of known intelligence information about this person. And get a better picture of whether this person has any kind of support bills that. Brad Garrett a former FBI special agent as well because Bradley news is it sound like a pretty dramatic scene beginning to unfold there around 5 AM when the police decided to go win. It would they're bear cat and take over with the swat team and to try to end this hostage situation. It's one of those situations George where you have to make it call at a certain point to save lives. Think about this year now maybe three hours into the shooting. And we still don't know how this played out that he come out once engaged the officers go back get a start shooting again that barricade himself. All are unknown at this point but you've got to be decisive if you're the on scene commander. As to when we're gonna stop this nobody else is going to get hurt. Okay a lot of information still coming in a lot more learn I want to go one more time down Warren Lister. On the scene in Orlando police said they were becoming that would more information as we've got to what's happening on the scene right now. Cher well one thing that has happened in the last fifteen minutes ourselves we heard about the possible thirty hostages or people rescued. We did see a few minutes ago now. A long line as people mostly men walking down a street that is with in this crime scene area I mean we certainly can't get to this. Boarding a bus and then taking that bus. Downpour it's downtown Orlando now we don't know if these these hostages or if these were victims but. This is just what's going on at this scene. We've seen FBI go into this scene as well. There is still a police presence here it's not what it wise guy in the middle of the night early in hours of the morning but still a police presence. Interest staying at 5 AMI in that press conference and saying it that's when they decided to go ahead and it began and a hostage rescue I ain't and he's an explosive entry that's right at that time where we all the media here that was state heard that explosion and and then on social media the Orlando police saying that was a controlled explosion by line force meant and then we heard the police and the authorities talk about that. That spewed out and taking out that it. Gunmen and 515 and around that time is that we heard Aaron been silent while we heard a barrage of gunfire that shortly after that we did in number. First responders rushing back and forth between this scene. And the hospital so. That the latest we can tell you we did half the people that were here from the nightclub. And police took then to police headquarters are asking everybody that was there to write to go to police headquarters. I'm so. This scene has been cleared out of folks that were in and I plan to our knowledge just down the street down the way and the block is a hospital. Where some of those 42 people have been transported it's it's very close is just at the end of the block and this is the one it's been on lockdown since 2 o'clock in the morning right at the time of the shooting. And in this is where Stanley and franks had been gathering trying to find out any information they can about their loved ones. Pain when Lester thanks very much reports there I've just take terrifying scene overnight in Orlando Florida shooting and hostage situation. Approximately twenty people dead according to police. In Orlando that would make the worst terror attack in America since nine elevenths. It is being treated putting according to officials on the scene as an act of domestic terror would stay on top of the story for now returning to our regular programming. For many be that's good work. This has been a special.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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