UPDATE: Orlando identifies victims of nightclub 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)

The city of Orlando has started identifying the victims killed in the mass shooting at a nightclub in the city early Sunday morning.

The victims have been identified as:

Edward Sotomayor Jr., 34 years old

Stanley Almodovar III, 23 years old

Luis Omar Ocasio-Capo, 20 years old

Juan Ramon Guerrero, 22 years old

Eric Ivan Ortiz-Rivera, 36 years old

Peter O. Gonzalez-Cruz, 22 years old

Luis S. Vielma, 22 years old

Kimberly Morris, 37 years old

Eddie Jamoldroy Justice, 30 years old

Darryl Roman Burt II, 29 years old

Deonka Deidra Drayton, 32 years old

Alejandro Barrios Martinez, 21 years old

Anthony Luis Laureanodisla, 25 years old

Jean Carlos Mendez Perez, 35 years old

Franky Jimmy Dejesus Velazquez, 50 years old

Amanda Alvear, 25 years old

Martin Benitez Torres, 33 years old

Luis Daniel Wilson-Leon, 37 years old

Mercedez Marisol Flores, 26 years old

Xavier Emmanuel Serrano Rosado, 35 years old

Gilberto Ramon Silva Menendez, 25 years old

"On this very difficult day, we offer heartfelt condolences to today's victims and their families," the city wrote in a post on the victims.

"Our City is working tirelessly to get as much information out to the families so they can begin the grieving process."

The city said that the next of kin of the victims listed had been contacted and said that the list would be updated as they continued to reach out to the families of the victims.

Dozens of people were killed when the shooter, Omar Mateen opened fire in the nightclub in the early hours of Sunday.

Mateen himself was killed after a SWAT team was sent in to rescue the hostages he was holding.

In addition to the fifty reported victims, officials have said that 53 people were hospitalized, most in critical condition. The Associated Press cited a surgeon at Orlando Regional Medical Center who said the death toll will likely climb.

As the city worked to identify those killed, messages of hope and prayers were being offered.

"Pray for Orlando, stop the hate," read a sign near the nightclub.

"Spread love not hate," read another sign.

A man approached the scene where media are gathered with a teddy bear in his hand. He said he brought it over to give it to his son.

The staging area is about a half-mile from the Pulse Nightclub where Sunday's shooting took place.

The gunman, identified as Omar Mateen, lived in Fort Pierce.

People gathered with signs outside Mateen's father's home in Port St. Lucie to show their support for the shooting victims and their families

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