TORONTO, June 13, 2016 (Xinhua) -- Toronto sign is lit up in colours of the rainbow to honour the Orlando nightclub shooting victims at Nathan Philips Square in Toronto, Canada, June 12, 2016. At least 50 people were killed and 53 others wounded, including a police officer, early Sunday in the shooting at the popular gay nightclub Pulse in Orlando, Florida, the United States. (Xinhua/Zou Zheng)
TORONTO, June 12 (Xinhua) -- Canadian officials and civilians condemned Sunday the worst mass shooting in U.S. history earlier in the morning that killed at least 50 people and injured 53 others at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida.
Canada's Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale wrote on Twitter that he is "shocked by the mass shooting, and that Canadians condemn such brutal violence."
Canadian Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan wrote "Standing united with the LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer) community there and around the world."
U.S. police said the attack happened around 2 a.m. Sunday, when a gunman wielding an assault-type rifle and a handgun opened fire inside a crowded gay nightclub in Orlando.
The assailant later died in a gunfight with police. Though a motive for the shooting has not been determined, police have said that it is "very likely" a hate crime.
Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne, who is openly gay, wrote on Twitter that she was "shocked and heartbroken by the news of the Orlando terrorist attack," and "her thoughts are with the entire LGBTQ community."
Toronto Mayor John Tory said the nightclub shooting is a "tragedy of unbelievable proportions." He said the iconic Toronto sign at city hall will be lit in colors of the rainbow Sunday to honor the innocent victims in Orlando.
A candlelight vigil will be held in Toronto's Church-Wellesley gay neighbourhood Sunday night to mourn the victims in the mass shooting at Pulse nightclub in Orlando.
The vigil will be held at Barbara Hall Park on Church Street, beginning at 8 p.m. local time.
According to a Facebook event promoting the vigil, Torontonians are encouraged to come to the park to "say a prayer, seek or give comfort and stand in solidarity" with the LGBTQ community in Orlando.
As of 1:30 p.m. local time, there were 519 confirmed attendees for the vigil. "Love conquers all," the Facebook page says.