President Barack Obama has issued a statement in the aftermath of the horrific mass shooting at Pulse nightclub in Orlando early Sunday morning (June 12). In response, the POTUS declares it "an act of terror."
"We grieve the brutal murder — a horrific massacre — of dozens of innocent people," he said from the White House briefing room, before also adding, "We know enough to say this was an act of terror and an act of hate.
"The FBI is appropriately investigating this as an act of terror. We will go wherever the facts lead us... What is clear is he was a person filled with hatred."
Tragedy struck the popular LGBT nightclub in Orlando early Sunday when gunfire erupted around 2:00 a.m. ET resulting in what was first thought to be the deaths of 20 clubgoers. At least 50 are now confirmed dead and over 50 injured in the attack, which is being described at the deadliest mass-shooting in U.S. history since 1890.
The president said although this incident could have taken place any of our communities throughout the country, "this is an especially heartbreaking day for our friends, our fellow Americans who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender."
He went on to add, "The shooter targeted a nightclub where people came together to be with friends, to dance and to sing, and to live. The place where they were attacked is more than a nightclub -- it is a place of solidarity and empowerment where people have come together to raise awareness, to speak their minds, and to advocate for their civil rights."
"This is a sobering reminder that attacks on any American — regardless of race, ethnicity, religion or sexual orientation — is an attack on all of us and on the fundamental values of equality and dignity that define us as a country. And no act of hate or terror will ever change who we are or the values that make us Americans," he said.