The City of Orlando remains in an official state of emergency as the FBI investigates what is being called the deadliest mass shooting in American history.
So far, the names and ages of eight victims have been released by the City of Orlando. They are:
Stanley Almodovar III, 23
Peter O. Gonzalez-Cruz, 22
Juan Ramon Guerrero, 22
Luis Omar Ocasio-Capo, 20
Eric Ivan Ortiz-Rivera, 36
Edward Sotomayor Jr., 34
Luis S. Vielma, 22
Kimberly Morris, 37
Orlando Police said 50 are dead and 53 are hospitalized.
There is no word yet if any are University of Central Florida students.
Gunman Omar Mateen opened fire at 2 a.m. Sunday morning at gay nightclub Pulse in downtown Orlando, just after he placed a 911 call pledging his allegiance to the Islamic State, a federal law enforcement official reported.
He held hostages and it wasn’t until 5 a.m. when SWAT members entered the scene and killed Mateen, the official said.
“The lone wolf tactic was adopted after 9/11,” international terrorism professor Bruce Farcau told Knight News. “This can happen anywhere and it is going to keep happening.”
The gunman’s father told NBC News that his son was angered when he saw two men kissing in Miami a couple of months ago and that may be related to the shooting.
“The Islamic State does not like homosexuals, and they kill them,” Farcau added.
“We know enough to say this was an act of terror and an act of hate,” President Obama said.
“We pray and hope no UCF student was lost or affected,” UCF SGA President and Vice President Chris and Rachel shared in a public Facebook post.
“Every member of this community [myself included] has fought to feel valid and have a place in this world. There are people out there who are never going to respect…then there are people whose reactions have left me sickened beyond words,” said UCF theatre student Kaitlan McGahey.
Many UCF organizations are supporting their fellow Orlando residents.
UCF dance team Rukus Ent. gathered at Tower 3 on UCF’s main campus to make post cards for the friends and families of victims.
Members from Knights & Damsels Dance Company, Society of Automotive Engineers, S.C.A.R.F. and the Black Student Union joined in as well.
OneBlood’s Big Red Bus will be on campus Monday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. in front of the Student Union and Bright House Networks Stadium for donations of O+/- and AB blood.
Project SPIT is hosting a vigil honoring those who died this Friday, June 17 at 5 p.m. at the UCF Reflection Pond.
“I pray for everyone and for peace because everything still seems so surreal that it touched home. I hope we can all bounce back from this and move forward with more protection and less hateful hearts,” SPIT member Precious Williams said.
More UCF events will be posted as they are announced.