What Omar Mateen told police during Orlando shooting

By Julie Vitkovskaya

Orlando gunman Omar Mateen identified himself as an Islamic soldier in calls with authorities during his rampage and demanded to a crisis negotiator that the US "stop bombing Syria and Iraq," according to transcripts released by the FBI on Monday.

The partial transcripts were of a 911 call made by Mateen and three conversations he had with the police crisis negotiators during the worst mass shooting in modern US history, in which 49 people died and dozens were wounded.

Those communications, along with Facebook posts and searches Mateen made around the time of the shootings, add to the public understanding of the final hours of Mateen's life and to the possible motivations behind the rampage.

The FBI released excerpts of Orlando shooter Omar Mateen's emergency calls today. Here is what he said. All local times:

2.02am: OPD call transmitted multiple shots fired at Pulse nightclub.

2.04: Additional OPD officers arrived on scene.

2.08: Officers from various law enforcement agencies made entrance to Pulse and engaged the shooter.

2.18: OPD Swat (Special Weapons & Tactics) initiated a full call-out.

2.35: Shooter contacted a 911 operator from inside Pulse. The call lasted approximately 50 seconds, the details of which are set out below:

Orlando Police Dispatcher (OD) Shooter (OM)

OD: Emergency 911, this is being recorded.
OM: In the name of God the Merciful, the beneficial [in Arabic]
OD: What?
OM: Praise be to God, and prayers as well as peace be upon the prophet of God [in Arabic]. I let you know, I'm in Orlando and I did the shootings.
OD: What's your name?
OM: My name is I pledge of allegiance to [omitted].
OD: Ok, What's your name?
OM: I pledge allegiance to [omitted] may God protect him [in Arabic], on behalf of [omitted].
OD: Alright, where are you at?
OM: In Orlando.
OD: Where in Orlando? [End of call.]

(Shortly thereafter, the shooter engaged in three conversations with OPD's Crisis Negotiation Team.)

2.48: First crisis negotiation call occurred lasting approximately nine minutes.

3.03: Second crisis negotiation call occurred lasting approximately 16 minutes.

3.24: Third crisis negotiation call occurred lasting approximately three minutes.

In these calls, the shooter, who identified himself as an Islamic soldier, told the crisis negotiator that he was the person who pledged his allegiance to [omitted], and told the negotiator to tell America to stop bombing Syria and Iraq and that is why he was "out here right now."

When the crisis negotiator asked the shooter what he had done, the shooter stated, "No, you already know what I did".

The shooter continued, stating, "There is some vehicle outside that has some bombs, just to let you know. You people are gonna get it, and I'm gonna ignite it if they try to do anything stupid."

Later in the call with the crisis negotiator, the shooter stated that he had a vest, and further described it as the kind they "used in France."

The shooter later stated, "In the next few days, you're going to see more of this type of action going on." The shooter hung up and multiple attempts to get in touch with him were unsuccessful.

4.21: OPD pulled an air conditioning unit out of a Pulse dressing room window for victims to evacuate.

(While the FBI will not be releasing transcripts of OPD communication with victims, significant information obtained from those victims allowed OPD to gain knowledge of the situation inside Pulse.)

4.29: As victims were being rescued, they told OPD the shooter said he was going to put four vests with bombs on victims within 15 minutes.

(An immediate search of the shooter's vehicle on scene and inside Pulse ultimately revealed no vest or improvised explosive device.)

5.02: OPD Swat and OCSO Hazardous Device Team began to breach wall with explosive charge and armoured vehicle to make entry.

5.14: OPD radio communication stated that shots were fired.

5.15: OPD radio communication stated that OPD engaged the suspect and the suspect was reported down.

Meanwhile, hospital officials said four people remained in critical condition Monday morning, more than a week after they were wounded in the attack.

Orlando Regional Medical Center said 18 victims from the shooting were still at the hospital and three more surgeries were scheduled for Monday. The other 14 patients are listed in stable condition.

Armed with a semi-automatic weapon, Mateen went on a bloody rampage at the Pulse nightclub June 12. He died in a hail of gunfire after police stormed the venue.

US Attorney General Loretta Lynch will travel to Orlando on Tuesday to meet with investigators. She said that a key goal of the investigation was to determine why Mateen targeted the gay community. The victims were predominantly gay and Hispanic since it was "Latin night" at Pulse.

- Washington Post, AP

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