“We will not be defined by the act of a cowardly hater,” Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer said.

“We will be defined by how we respond.”Police responding to the nightclub attack had attempted to negotiate with Mateen for hours, Police Chief John Mina said, rescuing dozens of people and confronting the shooter only when he mentioned explosives and they believed “further loss of life was imminent.”Mina outlined the police response during a Monday briefing near the nightclub, flanked by Florida Gov.

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The White House announced that President Obama would travel to Orlando on Thursday “to pay his respects to victims’ families and to stand in solidarity with the community.”As of midday Monday, all but two of the 49 slain victims had been publicly identified after notification of their families. “When the police went in, they told people, ‘Raise your hand if you’re alive,’ ” she said.

“Some of the living covered themselves with the dead.”She and other officials have asked residents to hold off on staging a vigil until all the victims are identified.

11 terrorist attacks.“He started acting crazy, joking around the fact that 9/11 happened, making plane noises on the school bus and pretending he was slamming into the building,” said Robert Zirkle, who rode the school bus every day with Mateen in Stuart, Fla., 15 years ago.“He was happy that Americans were dying. I don’t know if he was always a Muslim radical, but he was excited, hyped up. “We told him if he didn’t stop making noises, we were going to beat him up.”Zitkle, who now lives in Tennessee, was a freshman at Martin County High School at the time. He was a ‘Seinfeld’ kind of guy.”The shooting dominated the presidential campaign Monday.

Mateen, he said, attended Spectrum Alternative School, a separate public school.“He was really out there,” he said of Mateen. He had people who were cordial with him or would ask him how he was doing. Democrat Hillary Clinton called for stricter gun control and Republican Donald Trump called for tighter immigration rules. You can see where people were dragged,” said Patty Sheehan, Orlando’s first openly gay city commissioner, pointing toward the building and grimacing. Sheehan knows the owner of the club and a bartender who witnessed the shooting and described to her how it unfolded.

Mateen also emerged from the hole, armed with a long gun and handgun, and confronted SWAT officers backed against a wall who returned fire, killing him, Mina said.

The police chief said Mateen did not shoot between the time he retreated to the bathroom and when police breached the building.

Orlando terror attack updates: Obama meets with victims' families in Orlando June 16, 2016, p.m.

Forty-nine people are dead and at least 53 injured in the deadliest shooting in American history after Omar Mateen, a 29-year-old U. citizen, opened fire and took hostages inside the Pulse gay...

We hope that our fellow Americans will not let fear become disabling,” Comey said.

He added that fear “is what these savages want.”FBI agents scrambled Monday to recover data from Mateen’s electronic media — cellphones, computers and other devices — hoping to find clues to what sparked the massacre at the nightclub, according to current and former FBI officials.

Many who had known Mateen continued to come forward, sharing recollections.