Fatal nightclub shooting: ‘No immediate threat to NJ,’ police say
In the wake of the deadly nightclub shooting in Orlando, Fla. early Sunday that left approximately 50 people dead and injured at least 53, state police say at this time, there is no reason to believe a similar incident could happen in the Garden State.
NJ State Police Sgt. Jeffrey Flynn told NJ 101.5 Sunday that they are keeping an eye on the situation and any new developments that could impact New Jersey.
"Whenever something like this happens, we monitor the situation," Flynn said.
Flynn said state police use the New Jersey Regional Operations Intelligence Center - NJ ROIC - to follow developing situations and communicate with other law enforcement. Police also work with federal authorities to determine what, if any, action should be taken by law enforcement in the Garden State.
"At this time there’s no credible threat to New Jersey," Flynn said.
The shooting took place at about 2 a.m. at Pulse, a gay nightclub in Orlando. A gunman wielding both a handgun and an assault-type rifle opened fire inside the crowded venue and took hostages. The suspect has been identified as Omar Mateen of St. Lucie County, Fla., ABC News has reported. Mateen was killed in a gunfight at about 5 a.m. after a SWAT team was sent into the club to rescue the hostages, the report states.
During a news conference Sunday morning, FBI Agent Ron Hopper of the agency's Tampa division, was asked whether the suspect had known ties to Jihadist terror groups. Hopper said the FBI is "looking at all angles" but Mateen "may have leanings towards that, that particular ideology." Authorities could not definitively say what the gunman's motives were, according to ABC News.
Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer described the gruesome scene during the televised press conference, telling reporters that "there's blood everywhere."
New Jersey has a handful of gay clubs including two in Asbury Park. Both are closed today and Asbury Park police could not comment on what, if anything, is being done to step up security at those venues or other clubs in the municipality.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Toniann Antonelli is a social content producer for NJ 101.5. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, or on Twitter @ToniRadio1015.