Presidential candidates and politicians from across the political spectrum Sunday denounced the worst mass shooting ever executed on U.S. soil, which left at least 50 people dead on Sunday, joining President Barack Obama in expressing both shock and outrage.
The attack, which happened in the wee hours of the night in Orlando, Fla., is being investigated as an act of domestic terrorism. It began when a gunman stormed the Pulse Nightclub, popular in the gay and lesbian community, about 2 a.m. with an AR-15 type rifle and a handgun, officials told NBC News.
Though Muslim leaders and the shooter's family have rejected any religious connection to the attacks, presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump called for Obama to address "radical Islamic terrorism." Urging Obama to step down, Trump demanded an end to "politically correct" thinking, insisting it played a role in the massacre.
The attack sparked a broad online debate, with political figures drawing familiar battle lines on gun control and terrorism.
"Although it is still early in the investigation, we know enough to say that this was an act of terror, and an act of hate," Obama said in a speech Sunday. "And as Americans, we are united in grief, in outrage and in resolve to defend our people."
Obama also made a call for "common sense" gun control policies, echoing a refrain he's made in the aftermath of previous shootings.
However, Trump reiterated his call for a "complete shutdown" of Muslims entering the U.S., which drew widespread condemnation — even from within his own party.
In a statement, Trump blasted both Obama and Hillary Clinton, Obama's former Democratic rival who is now running to succeed him.
"In his remarks today, President Obama disgracefully refused to even say the words 'radical Islam,'" Trump said in his statement. "For that reason alone, he should step down. If Hillary Clinton, after this attack, still cannot say the two words 'radical Islam,' she should get out of this race for the presidency," he added, taking aim at his Democratic challenger.
He added: "If we do not get tough and smart real fast, we are not going to have a country anymore. Because our leaders are weak, I said this was going to happen — and it is only going to get worse. I am trying to save lives and prevent the next terrorist attack. We can't afford to be politically correct anymore."
Trump tweeted: "Horrific incident in FL. Praying for all the victims & their families. When will this stop? When will we get tough, smart & vigilant?"