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Phelan M. Ebenhack, Associated Press
Jermaine Towns, left, and Brandon Shuford, second from left, wait down the street from the scene of a shooting involving multiple fatalities at a nightclub in Orlando, Fla., Sunday, June 12, 2016. Towns said his brother was hiding in a bathroom at the time.

SALT LAKE CITY — LDS Church leaders are mourning and praying for the victims of a gunman who killed 50 and wounded 53 others in Orlando early Sunday morning in the deadliest shooting attack in U.S. history.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints released the following statement Sunday afternoon:

"With the rest of the nation, we mourn the tragic loss of life and serious injuries that occurred in Orlando this morning. We pray for the families and loved ones of the victims of this senseless shooting and pray they will be comforted and cared for as they seek to heal. Our prayers and support are also with community leaders and law enforcement officials as they continue to investigate this shocking crime."

Authorities are investigating the attack on a gay nightclub as an act of terrorism, and officials said the death toll is likely to climb.

Email: twalch@deseretnews.com