NEW YORK (AA) - A shooting at a nightclub in Orlando, Florida, in the U.S. early Sunday morning has left "around 20 people" dead and at least 42 injured, police have confirmed.
The attack on Pulse Club took place at around 2 a.m. (0600GMT), Orlando police chief John Mina told reporters at a briefing on Sunday morning.
Orlando mayor Buddy Dyer described the attack as a "horrific crime" that will have a "lasting effect" on the local community.
The shooting was first reported online by the club on their Facebook page: "everyone get out of pulse and keep running".
The Orlando police had previously described the attack as a “mass casualty situation”.
A video shared by local TV station WESH 2 showed the club from the outside, with a dozen shots heard in the background.
Mina said the police decided to "rescue hostages that were in there" at 5 a.m. He said the attacker carried an assault rifle and a handgun.
Police later announced on Twitter that "the shooter inside is dead."
An Orange County Sheriff at the briefing described the shooting as a "domestic terror incident".
WESH 2 reported that a nearby hospital received several injured people.
The network also said a crisis negotiator from law enforcement was called to the area, although there was no official confirmation that there was a hostage situation inside the club.
Police officials announced on Twitter a controlled explosion around the club, with the announcement apparently prompted by concerned social media users mistaking the blast for another possible attack.