Public figures and political leaders, among them both condemned Sunday's attack on a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida that killed 50 and wounded 53.
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President Barack Obama was updated on the developing crisis, said the White House, and ordered the federal government to provide any assistance needed to Florida police investigating the shooting.
The FBI said it was still trying to pin down whether the mass shooting was a hate crime against gays or a terrorist act, and most reactions from public figures and politicians shied away from jumping to conclusions over Mateen's motives.
Even presumptive Republican president candidate Donald Trump, known for stirring controversy, settled for a relatively subdued tweet, calling the attack a "Horrific incident in FL. Praying for all the victims & their families. When will this stop? When will we get tough, smart and vigilant?"
Later however, Trump tweeted out: "Appreciate the congrats for being right on radical Islamic terrorism, I don't want congrats, I want toughness & vigilance. We must be smart!"
U.S. Senator and Trump's former contender in presidential primaries Marco Rubio of Florida told CNN he understood that the gunman had worked for a security company and so would have undergone some background checks.
"Over the next couple of days they're going to be looking to see where this individual was inspired to carry out this horrifying act of terrorism," Rubio said. "I think we're going to be talking about a very different kind of case here soon."
The Presumptive Democratic nominee, Hillary Clinton, also reacted to the incident, tweeting: "Woke up to hear the devastating news from FL. As we wait for more information, my thoughts are with those affected by this horrific act."
Though the incident had not been officially recognized as having any connection to extremist Islamic ideology, the sensitivity of the issue brought Rasha Mubarak, the Orlando regional coordinator for Florida's chapter of the Council on American-Islamic relations to join police in a press conference.
"We condemn this monstrous attack and offer our heartfelt condolences to the families and loved ones of all those killed or injured," said Mubarak. "The Muslim community joins our fellow Americans in repudiating anyone or any group that would claim to justify or excuse such an appalling act of violence."
Omar Mateen was identified as the attack and his father, Mir Seddique, said that while he was "in shock" and had no knowledge any any plans his son had, he was sure that the attack "has nothing to do with religion."
According to Seddique, Mateen has expressed anger when seeing two men kissing in Miami a few months prior to the attack.
Florida governor Rick Scott declared a state of emergency in Orange County as a result of the attack and promised to "devote every resource available to assist with the shooting in Orlando."
Condemnation of the attack also came from French President Francois Hollande who "expresses the full support of France and the French with America's authorities and its people in this difficult time." Paris was the victim of a mass terror attack perpetrated by ISIS militants who killed 130 in November 2015.
The identities of the victims were yet to be released and Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer said that the dead bodies had not yet been removed from the club at the time of the press conference. "There's blood everywhere," he said. "Today we're dealing with something that we never imagined and is unimaginable."