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REPORT: Orlando nightclub victim reportedly of South African decent

REPORT: Orlando nightclub victim reportedly of South African decent

Unconfirmed reports have suggested that a South African born man could have been one of the victims of Sunday’s mass shooting at a night club in Orlando, Florida.

According to international media, 22-year old Peter Gonzalez-Cruz, who according to his Facebook page was from Benoni, was one of the first victims to die when 29-year old Omar Mateen unloaded shots inside the Pulse night club just after 2AM, killing 49 club goers and seriously injuring another 53.

It has been alleged that Mateen, who had bipolar disorder and beat his ex-wife regularly, engaged in a gun fight with an off-duty police officer outside the popular gay club, before the arrival of more officers made him retreat inside the building where he took a number of people hostage.

Orlando police Chief John Mina stated that Mateen spoke to police on his cellphone from inside the club, where he reportedly pledged his allegiance to the Islamic State. He said a rescue attempt was launched after Mateen threatened to detonate a bomb at which point an armed police vehicle smashed through the walls, allowing some club goers to escape.

Mina said the G4S security guard who lived in nearly St. Lucie, was shot by between eight or nine officers as he opened fire on them having existed though the same wall. An AR-15 semi-automatic rifle and handgun was found in his possession.

Mateen’s father has however disputed claims about his son’s alleged links with the terror group, saying he had become angry after witnessing two men kissing each other in front of his young son.

Seddique Mateen said the attack, which has been described as the deadliest mass shooting in North American history, has come as a surprise and that he remains baffled why his son committed it.

Reports have also claimed that Mateen, who was born in New York and is of Afghan decent, was not on any terror list but had been interviewed on two previous occasions by the FBI in 2013 and 2014, for making alleged “inflammatory remarks” to colleague.

SkyNews has since alleged that co-workers described him as a “homophobe” and someone with a violent temper with ex-wife stating “he would express hate toward everything [when angry].

Various world leaders have also slammed the attack with US President Barack Obama calling it an attack of terror and hate.

“This is a sobering reminder that attacks on any American, regardless of race, ethnicity, religion or sexual orientation, is an attack on all of us and on the fundamental values of equality and dignity that define us as a country. And no act of hate or terror will ever change who we are or the values that make us Americans,” he said.

“We will not give in to fear or turn against each other. Instead, we will stand united, as Americans, to protect our people, and defend our nation, and to take action against those who threaten us”.


IMAGE sourced from politico.eu