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Hogan orders flags to fly at half-staff after Orlando mass shooting

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan on Sunday ordered flags to fly at half-staff in honor of the victims of the Orlando, Fla., mass shooting.

"We offer our most sincere condolences to the family and friends of the innocent victims of this act of terror, and our deepest gratitude to the first responders and law enforcement who responded to this tragedy with bravery and courage," Hogan said.

Hogan said he offered assistance to Florida Gov. Rick Scott and asked Marylanders to join in Scott's call for a moment of silence and prayer at 6 p.m.

A man killed 50 people and injured 53 others early Sunday morning at a gay nightclub in Orlando, the deadliest shooting in U.S. history.

Omar Mateen — the lone gunman — called 911 moments before the attack and pledged his allegiance to Islamic State, a federal law enforcement official said, confirming earlier reports.

Other Maryland officials offered their condolences Sunday.

The United Maryland Muslim Council condemned the attack and urged community members to donate blood.

"This violence is totally unacceptable irrespective of individual's beliefs. It is simply a tragic crime against humanity," the group said in a statement. "Our prayers continue to be with the victims and their loved ones. We must remain vigilant against all hate crimes."

The United States Conference of Mayors, whose president is Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, released a statement praising Orlando police and calling it a "very sad day."

"There is so much that is deeply troubling about this, the nation's most recent mass shooting: The number of dead and wounded is incomprehensible and record-setting," the statement said.

Congressman Elijah E. Cummings called the shooting "a tragic act of hatred and terror.

"I grieve for the victims of this senseless crime and their loved ones," Cummings said in a statement. "In the wake of yet another tragedy enabled by guns, we must come together to prevent dangerous people from getting their hands on dangerous weapons."

Sen. Ben Cardin, member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said, "Whatever irrational excuse for the shooting, we as a nation must resolve to stop ISIL from committing and encouraging acts of terror, while also working to ensure guns made solely for the battlefield stay out of the hands of individuals within our borders who should never have them. We need to act immediately to stem the tide of bloodshed - and the hatred that propels it - that has harmed far too many corners of this union."

The Orlando Sentinel contributed to this article.

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