“You people are gonna get it,” Orlando shooter Omar Mateen told emergency responders in one of several conversations on 911 calls the night of his massacre at Pulse nightclub that killed 49 people.
Investigators on Monday released partial transcripts of conversations between Mateen and police. The transcripts reveal that Mateen told police he had a vest like those “used in France,” referring to the November 2015 terror attack in Paris that killed 130 people in a series of attacks. He also said that a vehicle outside the club had been loaded with “some bombs” and at one point said he planned to put explosive vests on four hostages.
He pledged allegiance to the Islamic State on the call and later threatened that his attack on Pulse would not be the only of its kind. “In the next few days, you’re going to see more of this type of action going on,” he said.
Mateen, an American born to Afghani immigrants, killed 49 people and injured 53 others at the popular gay dance club on June 12.
Portions of the transcripts where Mateen named the group or individual to whom he pledged his allegiance amid the attacks were omitted by the FBI.
When questioned in a Monday press conference on the reason for omissions in the transcript, FBI Assistant Special Agent in Charge Ronald Hopper said, “We’re not going to propagate violent rhetoric that comes from other people whether it be here or overseas.”
“While we are not releasing the 911 calls, I can tell you the killer did so in a chilling, calm and deliberate manner,” Hopper said.
On Sunday, Attorney General Loretta Lynch said the transcripts would omit references to ISIS and the Islamic State terror group’s leaders out of respect for the victims and their families.
“The reason why we’re going to limit these transcripts is to avoid revictimizing those who went through this horror,” Lynch told CNN. “But it will contain the substance of his conversations. And there were three conversations between this killer and negotiators.”
According to the transcripts released Monday, Mateen did not reveal his feelings about homosexuals nor the LGBT community during those calls.
“We’re still exploring why he chose this particular place to attack,” Lynch said.
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.
2:04a.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.
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:
Orlando Police Dispatcher (OD)
OD: Emergency 911, this is being recorded.
OM: In the name of God the Merciful, the beneficial [in Arabic]
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 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.