Just after one o’clock this morning, 15 year old Javarious Martin was shot in the head during a drive by at 3648 20th Ave. South in St. Petersburg. Martin has undergone surgery and is in critical condition at the hospital. Police say he does not live at the home where the shooting occurred and that the same house was targeted by gunfire within the past week; however, no one was injured in that prior incident.
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) – The White House says President Obama will travel to Orlando on Thursday to pay respects to the victims of Sunday’s nightclub shooting and to stand in solidarity with the community. The White House did not provide more details about the trip. Obama had canceled what was to be his first campaign event with presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton in the wake of the shooting. That event was scheduled for Wednesday.
Vigils and marches are being held around the country Monday and later this week for the victims of the deadly attack at a gay nightclub in Orlando. Police in many areas have promised heightened security for the events, which come during Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Pride Month.
Orlando mourns as additional, possible motives emerge for the gunman. Despite Omar Mateen’s pledge of support to the Islamic State group, other possible explanations emerged such as mental illness and whether he was conflicted about his own sexuality. Jim Van Horn said he was a frequent patron at Orlando’s Pulse night club. He said another “regular” at the Florida gay bar was Omar Mateen, the man who killed 49 and wounded dozens more early Sunday. Speaking to The Associated Press late Monday, 71-year-old Van Horn says he saw Mateen trying to pick up men at the club.
BEIRUT (AP) — U.S. authorities say Omar Mateen, the man who carried out the worst mass shooting in modern U.S. history, had touted support not just for the Islamic State but also other militant factions, which are enemies of the Sunni extremist group. At one point, Mateen expressed solidarity with a suicide bomber from the Syrian branch of al-Qaida, which is known as the Nusra Front and which is the Islamic State group’s top rival. And a few years back, he claimed connections to the Lebanese Shiite Hezbollah group as well.
The Islamic State group’s Al-Bayan Radio described the Orlando shooter as “one of the soldiers of the caliphate in America.”
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) – Buying an assault rifle like the one used to kill 49 people at an Orlando nightclub isn’t too difficult. You have to be at least 18, a legal resident of the United States and you have to pass a background check. Among issues that disqualify a sale are felony convictions, documented mental health issues, multiple DUIs, drug convictions or a history of domestic violence.
Florida does have a three-day waiting period for handgun sales and buyers have to be 21 or over, but rifles can be sold immediately. Still, the former head of the law enforcement agency that conducts the
background checks says Florida is better than most states at regulating sales.
Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders end the primary calendar with a face-to-face meeting that could set the tone for party unity and next month’s convention in Philadelphia.
There is a new wrinkle in the case of the man who was arrested with guns and explosive material in California. James Howell, the Indiana man arrested in Santa Monica with three assault rifles who told police he was headed to a gay pride event had been ordered by a judge in his home state to give up his guns.
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) – Target stores across the U.S. are going silent Tuesday to honor two employees, one who worked at the retailer and another who worked at a Starbucks inside the store. A third Target employee who works at an in-store coffee shop remains in critical condition as a result of the nightclub shooting early Sunday.
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Authorities say a Florida man faces multiple charges after he was apparently showing a 10-year-old boy he was babysitting how to set off acid bombs. Hillsborough County Sheriff’s spokeswoman Debbie Carter says in a news release that a deputy working an off-duty detail in a subdivision heard a loud explosion Monday. He went to a nearby park and saw 30-year-old Joshua Stephen
Lapin-Bertone setting off acid bombs. An arrest report says Lapin-Bertone “had the juvenile” throwing the bombs. Investigators found additional chemicals used to make acid bombs in the babysitter’s car. Carter says the child’s mother took custody of her son. Lapin-Bertone was released on bond. He’s charged with four counts of making/placing/discharging a destructive device and four counts of child neglect.