The gunman entered the Pulse nightclub, which was filled with more than 300 people for a “Latin Night” event, and began shooting at around 2am. He exchanged fire with a police officer working at the club, before taking hostages in a back room. Three hours later, police set off a “controlled explosion” to distract Mateen and sent in a SWAT team. Mateen was killed in a shootout with officers. Police have since ensured that the club is free of any devices are working to identify victims in the nightclub. The FBI has said there is “no information to suggest there is any further threat” to other areas of the city.

Jon Alamo, who was inside the club, told AP news agency “I heard 20, 40, 50 shots. The music stopped.” A bouncer knocked down a partition between the club area and an area in the back where only workers are allowed, allowing those inside to escape through the back of the club.

County fire officials have called for blood donations. Type O blood is in especially large demand, they said. Donors have been asked to go to local blood banks rather than the hospital.

Mayor Dyer said families concerned about relatives can call 407-246-4357 for information on victims. Those with any tips for authorities should call FBI: 800-CALL-FBI option 2.

📬 Sign up for the Daily Brief

Our free, fast, and fun briefing on the global economy, delivered every weekday morning.