ORLANDO (CBSMiami)– Saturday marks five years since 49 people were killed at Pulse, a gay nightclub in Orlando, where a gunman turned a dance party into a three-hour massacre in one of the worst mass shootings in the United States.
The gunman, Omar Mateen, opened fire during the club’s popular Latin night. He shot patrons on the dance floor and sprayed bullets at others cowering in bathroom stalls.READ MORE: 2 Of South Florida’s Top Cops React To Miami-Dade Mayor’s White House Visit For Gun Violence Discussion
While holding hostages during his standoff with police, Mateen pledged allegiance to the Islamic State group during a three-hour standoff before being killed in a shootout with police.READ MORE: Miami Dolphins Team Up With Big Brothers Big Sisters Of Broward For Pride Month Initiative
Mateen carried out the slaughter with an assault weapon and handgun that had been legally purchased although he had twice been investigated by the FBI for possible connections with militant Islamist groups.
Earlier this week, the U.S. Senate passed a bill designating the former nightclub as a national memorial site.MORE NEWS: Miami Police Department Fires Deputy Chief Ronald Papier, Commander Nerly Papier
President Joe Biden is expected to sign the bill into law. The president has shown support for anti-discrimination legislation targeting Americans who identify as LGBTQ.