A shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando is the worst mass shooting in U.S. history with over 50 dead and 53 injured at this time.
Orlando police and firefighter/paramedics responded just after 2:02 a.m. when the first shot was fired near the Pulse Orlando nightclub at 1912 South Orange Avenue. The offender fired a shot at an Orlando police officer and then ran into the nightclub. The club was believed to have about 200 people inside. The situation was managed as a hostage situation.
By 5:00 a.m. the police department’s SWAT team opened fire and charged the building. Police distracted Mateen with an explosive device and plowed into the building with a vehicle. When tactical officers went inside, they discovered 50 dead, including the offender, and 53 injured patrons of the club.
Police have identified the gunman as Omar Mateen of Port St. Lucie, who was killed after a shootout with Orlando police. Mateen was initially reported to be armed with an AR-15-style, a handgun, and extra ammunition.
VIDEO: Mass Shooting SWAT attack and triage aftermath at Pulse Orlando Florida Nightclub.
Shooting victims were transported to Level I Trauma Center Orlando Regional Medical Center (ORMC), which is about four blocks or one-half mile from mass shooting scene.
Police Chief John Mina credited Orlando police officers with rescuing 30 hostages.
Mina also stated the mass shooting is not believed to be related to a separate shooting Friday night inside The Plaza Live theater in Orlando when former NBC’s “The Voice” contestant Christina Grimmie was killed by a lone gunman, who then killed himself.
Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer said he had declared a state of emergency for the city of Orlando and requested the governor of Florida do the same for the state.
ORMC established a family information center early this morning, asking family members to go to at 52 West Underwood Street.
Orlando authorities set up an information center at the Hampton Inn at 43 Columbia Street and urged relatives to call 407-246-4357.
Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer reported in a press conference about 12:31 p.m. EDT that health care administrators at Orlando Regional Medical Center contacted the White House Obama for permission to waive HIPAA regulation so that doctors and health care personnel could communicate freely with family about information related to the mass shooting and injuries sustained in a mass shooting at Pulse nightclub.
HIPAA is the acronym for the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act that was passed by Congress in 1996. HIPAA requires the protection and confidential handling of protected health information.
HIPAA is also outlined to …
Provide the ability to transfer and continue health insurance coverage for millions of American workers and their families when they change or lose their jobs;
Reduce health care fraud and abuse;
Mandate industry-wide standards for health care information on electronic billing and other processes.
The HIPAA Privacy regulations require health care providers and organizations, as well as their business associates, develop and follow procedures that ensure the confidentiality and security of protected health information (PHI) when it is transferred, received, handled, or shared. This applies to all forms of PHI, including paper, oral, and electronic, etc. Furthermore, only the minimum health information necessary to conduct business is to be used or shared.
Before Sunday morning’s attack at the Pulse nightclub, the deadliest shootings in United States history were at Virginia Tech in 2007 when 32 were killed and Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012 when 27 were killed.