The death tolls change, the places change: Nine in a church, 23 in a restaurant, 26 in an elementary school, now 49 in a nightclub. The faces in the memorial photos change the most. But the weapons are the common denominator.
A man armed with an assault rifle and pledging loyalty to Islamic State killed 50 people during a gay pride celebration at a nightclub in Orlando, Florida, early on Sunday in the deadliest mass shooting in US history, a rampage that president Barack Obama denounced as an act of terror and hate.
Police killed the gunman, Omar Mateen, 29, a New York-born Florida resident and US citizen of Afghan descent. He was twice questioned by FBI agents in recent years, authorities said.
Mateen’s former wife said he was emotionally and mentally disturbed with a violent temper, yet aspired to be a police officer.
Working for the global security firm G4S during the past nine years, Mateen was an armed guard for a gated retirement community in South Florida, and had cleared two company background screenings, the latest in 2013, according to G4S.
Preliminary investigations suggested the attack was inspired by Islamic State militants,