Pulse Shooter’s 911 Calls Released After Judge Rules Against City
After many legal battles, the city of Orlando has released the 911 recordings from Omar Mateen. Mateen was the gunman who attacked the Pulse nightclub over the summer. His attack left 49 people dead and 68 more injured. Orange County police shot and killed Mateen during the struggle. The struggle was a 3-hour standoff on June 12 and it ended up being one of the
Media outlets have been requesting that the calls be made available to the public for a variety of reasons. It was also speculated that Mateen pledged allegiance to ISIS and his motivation for committing the atrocities. The transcripts of said calls were released last month.
“You have to tell America to stop bombing Syria and Iraq. They are killing a lot of innocent people,” gunman Omar Mateen told a crisis negotiator from inside the Pulse nightclub during the June standoff per the Orlando Sentinel.
Now, the public will get to hear the audio that goes with those words. Mateen spoke with police and negotiators over a series of phone calls that took place between 2:30 a.m. and 3:25 a.m.
“This is Mateen. I want to let you know I’m in Orlando and I did the shooting,”Mateen informed police during the initial call. “I pledge my allegiance to [Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi] of the Islamic State.”
Throughout all of the calls, Mateen called for the U.S. to “stop the airstrikes” on Iraq and Syria. He referred to a May 6th airstrike against ISIS military which killed Abu Wahib, an ISIS commander.
“That’s what triggered it, OK?” Mateen said. “They should have not bombed and killed Abu [Wahib].”
Many media outlets have had their attorneys demanding the phone calls be released. The city initially refused to release the calls but after the Orange County police and others released their calls, it reconsidered. However, it did not release any calls from inside the club. It did release 200 calls but kept those calls out because of Florida’s public record laws and they may have recorded the victims dying.
Media attorney Rachel Fugate, though, argued that the law allows for the release of that information if there is a compelling public interest, and in this case there is, she said per the Orlando Sentinel.
Investigators have said that Mateen acted as a “lone wolf” and wasn’t apart of ISIS. The FBI investigated Mateen for 10 months before the Pulse shooting took place. He was also on the “no-fly” list twice but the FBI found no evidence that he would end up committing the worst mass shootings in American history.
“We don’t have a crystal ball, unfortunately,” said a senior FBI official, speaking on condition of anonymity because the case remains under investigation told the Orlando Sentinel at the time. “We went right up to the edge of what we could do legally, and there was just nothing there.”