FBI releases partial transcripts of 911 calls from Orlando shooter

World Today

FBI Poster for Omar Mateen

Newly released transcripts show Orlando gunman Omar Mateen spoke in Arabic to a 911 dispatcher and told a crisis negotiator that the U.S. needed to stop bombing Iraq and Syria.

CCTV America’s Jim Spellman reports.

FBI releases partial transcripts of 911 calls from Orlando shooter

FBI releases partial transcripts of 911 calls from Orlando shooter

Newly released transcripts show Orlando gunman Omar Mateen spoke in Arabic to a 911 dispatcher and told a crisis negotiator that the U.S. needed to stop bombing Iraq and Syria. The FBI released partial transcripts Monday of three 911 calls as it prepared to give additional details about its investigation into the massacre at the Pulse nightclub, which left 49 victims dead. Mateen also died.

The FBI released partial transcripts Monday of three 911 calls as it prepared to give additional details about its investigation into the massacre at the Pulse nightclub, which left 49 victims dead. Mateen also died.

Mateen spoke three times with an emergency dispatcher once the massacre was underway.

The FBI says Mateen identified himself as an Islamic soldier. He also claimed to be equipped with bombs in a vehicle outside, though authorities say they’ve found no evidence of explosives.

The first call came more than a half hour after shots rang out, when Mateen told a 911 operator, “Praise be to God, and prayers as well as peace be upon the prophet of God,” he told the dispatcher, referring to God in Arabic.

“I let you know, I’m in Orlando and I did the shootings.”

Investigative update released by FBI:

ORLANDO 6/20/16 10:30 a.m.—In order to provide an update on the progress of the investigation into the Pulse nightclub shooting, the FBI is releasing an excerpt from the timeline of events inside the Pulse nightclub during the early morning hours of Sunday, June 12, 2016. Out of respect for the victims of this horrific tragedy, law enforcement will not be releasing audio of the shooter’s 911 calls at this time, nor will law enforcement be releasing audio or transcripts of the calls made by victims at the Pulse nightclub during the incident. Furthermore, the name of the shooter and that of the person/group to whom he pledged allegiance are omitted.

The following is based on Orlando Police Department (OPD) radio communication (times are approximate):

    • 2:02 a.m.: OPD call transmitted multiple shots fired at Pulse nightclub.
    • 2:04 a.m.: Additional OPD officers arrived on scene.
    • 2:08 a.m.: Officers from various law enforcement agencies made entrance to Pulse and engaged the shooter.
    • 2:18 a.m.: OPD S.W.A.T. (Special Weapons & Tactics) initiated a full call-out.

UPDATE 6/20/16  3:35 p.m.: The Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) issued the following statement regarding the FBI’s release of the transcript related to the Orlando shooting:

“The purpose of releasing the partial transcript of the shooter’s interaction with 911 operators was to provide transparency, while remaining sensitive to the interests of the surviving victims, their families, and the integrity of the ongoing investigation. We also did not want to provide the killer or terrorist organizations with a publicity platform for hateful propaganda. Unfortunately, the unreleased portions of the transcript that named the terrorist organizations and leaders have caused an unnecessary distraction from the hard work that the FBI and our law enforcement partners have been doing to investigate this heinous crime. As much of this information had been previously reported, we have re-issued the complete transcript to include these references in order to provide the highest level of transparency possible under the circumstances.”

Transcript of Orlando Police Department 911 Calls, June 12, 2016

  • 2:35 a.m.: Shooter contacted a 911 operator from inside Pulse. The call lasted approximately 50 seconds, the details of which are set out below:

(OD) Orlando Police Dispatcher
(OM) Omar Mateen
OD: Emergency 911, this is being recorded.
OM: In the name of God the Merciful, the beneficent [Arabic]
OD: What?
OM: Praise be to God, and prayers as well as peace be upon the prophet of God [Arabic]. I wanna 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 Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi of the Islamic State.
OD: Ok, What’s your name?
OM: I pledge allegiance to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi may God protect him [Arabic], on behalf of the Islamic State.
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 a.m.: First crisis negotiation call occurred lasting approximately nine minutes.
  • 3:03 a.m.: Second crisis negotiation call occurred lasting approximately 16 minutes.
  • 3:24 a.m.: 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 a.m.: 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 a.m.: 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 a.m.: OPD SWAT and OCSO Hazardous Device Team began to breach wall with explosive charge and armored vehicle to make entry.
  • 5:14 a.m.: OPD radio communication stated that shots were fired.
  • 5:15 a.m.: OPD radio communication stated that OPD engaged the suspect and the suspect was reported down.

Based on OPD radio communications, there were no reports of shots being fired inside Pulse between the initial exchange of gunfire between responding officers and shooter, and the time of the final breach. During this time, the shooter communicated with an OPD 911 operator and an OPD crisis negotiator, and OPD radio communications reported that victims were being rescued.

The FBI urges the public to provide information about the shooter and any contact they may have had with him. Since the release of the FBI’s Seeking Information poster, the FBI has received thousands of tips. The FBI will investigate every tip.

The communications, along with Facebook posts and searches made before and during the shooting, add to the public understanding of the final hours of Mateen’s life.

During the 50-second call with a dispatcher, Mateen “made murderous statements in a “chilling, calm and deliberate manner,” said Ronald Hopper, FBI assistant special agent in charge in Orlando.

However, there is no evidence Mateen was directed by a foreign terrorist group, and he was radicalized on his own, Hopper said.

Mateen’s name and the groups and people to whom he pledged allegiance were omitted from the excerpt. But the FBI has previously said he pledged allegiance to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of the Islamic State.

Shortly after the call, Mateen had three conversations with crisis negotiators in which he identified himself as an Islamic soldier and told a negotiator to tell America to stop bombing Syria and Iraq. He said that was why he was “out here right now,” according to the excerpt.

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.

U.S. 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.

Story by The Associated Press