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Gunman Opens Fire at Orlando Nightclub

Omar Mateen used a legally purchased AR-15-style weapon in a massacre that left at least 49 people dead in an Orlando gay club early Sunday.

Police direct family members away from the scene of multiple shootings at a nightclub in Orlando on June 12, 2016.

Officials said a hostage situation developed after the gunman stormed the Pulse Nightclub about 2 a.m Sunday. The assailant was shot dead about three hours later when a SWAT team entered the club, police said.

Phelan M. Ebenhack / AP

A woman with blood on her legs stands on the street with others near the Pulse Nightclub.

Univision Florida Central/EPA

An Orlando police officer was hit in the hail of gunfire as a SWAT team entered the club and killed the assailant. According to Orlando Police, this Kevlar helmet saved the officer's life.

Orlando Police

Bystanders wait down the street from the nightclub.

Phelan M. Ebenhack / AP
An injured person is escorted out of the Pulse nightclub after a shooting rampage early Sunday morning in Orlando. It was the deadliest mass shooting in American history. Steven Fernandez / AP

Police vehicles surround the nightclub. 

The incident is being investigated as an act of terrorism, officials said

NBC News

Friends and family members embrace outside the Orlando Police Headquarters during the investigation of the shootings. 

Steve Nesius / Reuters

Emergency personnel wait with stretchers at the emergency entrance to Orlando Regional Medical Center hospital for the arrival of patients from the nightclub. 

Phelan M. Ebenhack / AP

Ray Rivera, a DJ at Pulse Orlando nightclub, is consoled by a friend, outside of the Orlando Police Department. 

Joe Burbank / Orlando Sentinel via AP

FBI agents investigate near the damaged rear wall of the Pulse Nightclub.

Joe Raedle / Getty Images
Trenton Venezie, left, and Jym Hersan embrace while waving signs of support on Sunday in Orlando following the shootings at the Pulse Nightclub. John Brecher / NBC News
Potential blood donors line up outside the oneblood facility on Beach Blvd. in Jacksonville, Fla., to help the victims from the shooting at a nightclub in Orlando. Bob Self / Florida Times-Union via AP

A police officer stands guard outside the Orlando Regional Medical Center, just a few blocks from the nightclub.

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Phelan M. Ebenhack / AP