12/06/2016 15:01 BST | Updated 12/06/2016 22:50 BST

Orlando Pulse Club Shooting Leads Piers Morgan To Attack Hypocrisy Of US 'Gun Nuts'

50 people were killed and 53 hospitalised.

Piers Morgan has attacked the hypocrisy of "gun nuts" in the US after 50 people were killed and 53 more were wounded during a shooting inside a crowded Florida nightclub in the early hours of Sunday morning.

The journalist and vocal anti-gun campaigner said that Orlando was "awash" with guns, yet if this atrocity occurred in Paris, firearms advocates would call for citizens to carry weapons.

His comments come hours after a suspected terrorist opened fire at gay nightclub, Pulse Orlando, at about 2am.

Orlando Police officers direct family members away from a fatal shooting at Pulse Orlando nightclub in Orlando.

The 51-year-old also said that the person responsible for the mass killings was a terrorist "whether the shooter's white, black or Islamic".

Orlando police chief John Mina described how his force entered into a shoot-out with the attacker, resulting in one of his own officers getting shot.

The officer’s life was saved by his helmet.

The gunman was killed following a standoff with SWAT officers.

A post on the nightclub’s Facebook page immediately after the event read: “Everyone get out of pulse and keep running.”

A Facebook post on Pulse Orlando's page told everyone to 'get out' and 'keep running'.

Florida Department of Law Enforcement Special Agent in Charge Danny Banks said during a news conference on Sunday that the mass shooting is being investigated as an act of terrorism.

He said that authorities are looking into whether this was an act of domestic or international terror, and if the shooter was a lone wolf.

"This is an incident, as I see it, that we certainly classify as domestic terror incident," said Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings, the Associated Press reports.

Police Chief John Mina also said the shooter had some sort of "suspicious device."

He said the suspect exchanged gunfire with an officer working at the club around 2am, then went back inside and took hostages among more than 300 people inside.

This latest attack in the US is likely to add fuel to anti-gun lobby's fire.

Morgan tweeted a graph showing that Orlando was the 173rd US mass shooting of 2016 - on average this equates to more than one shooting a day.

Witness Ricardo Negroni, who was at the club when the shooting started, said the attacker had aimed his gun at the ceiling, which sent glass crashing to the floor.

He told Sky News: “At around 2am someone started shooting. People just dropped on the floor.

“I guess the shooter was shooting at the ceiling because you could see all the glass from the lamps falling.”

Club-goer Rob Rick said the shooting started just before closing time.

"Everybody was drinking their last sip," he said.

He estimated more than 100 people were still inside when he heard shots, got on the ground and crawled toward a DJ booth.

A bouncer knocked down a partition between the club area and an area in the back where only workers are allowed. People inside were able to then escape through the back of the club.

Christopher Hansen said he was in the VIP lounge when he heard gunshots. He continued to hear shooting even after he emerged, where police were telling people to back away from the club. He saw injured people being tended to across the street.

"I was thinking, 'Are you kidding me?' So I just dropped down. I just said, 'Please, please, please, I want to make it out,'" he said. "And when I did, I saw people shot. I saw blood. You hope and pray you don't get shot."

The incident follows the fatal shooting on Friday of 22-year-old singer Christina Grimmie, who was killed after her concert in Orlando by a 27-year-old Florida man who later killed himself.

Grimmie was a YouTube sensation and former contestant on “The Voice.”

    Orlando Police officers direct family members away from a multiple shooting at a nightclub in Orlando, Florida on Sunday, June 12, 2016.
    Jermaine Towns, left, and Brandon Shuford, second from left, wait down the street from the scene of the shooting.
    Brandon Shuford, left, waits down the street from the scene of a shooting.
    Jermaine Towns, left, waits down the street from the scene of the shooting.
    Jermaine Towns, left, and Brandon Shuford wait down the street from a multiple shooting at a nightclub in Orlando, Fla., Sunday, June 12, 2016. Towns said his brother was in the club at the time. A gunman opened fire at a nightclub in central Florida, and multiple people have been wounded, police said Sunday. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)
    Police officers stand guard.
    Bystanders wait down the street.
    Police cars surround the Pulse Orlando nightclub.
    A police officer stands guard outside the Orlando Regional Medical Center hospital.
    Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer, center right, and Orlando Police Chief John Mina, center left, arrive to a news conference.
    People wait outside the emergency entrance of the Orlando Regional Medical Center.