911 Calls for Orlando Shooting Reveal Horror Inside the Nightclub
911 Calls for Orlando Shooting Reveal Horror Inside the Nightclub

“Please help.”

That was among the many statements made during 911 calls during the mass shooting at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando earlier this month. The City of Orlando, in cooperation with FBI, released 125 pages of the 911 calls on Tuesday.

The logs include the notes that 911 dispatchers took when they got the calls on the morning of June 12. Some of the reports describe shots being fired, eyewitnesses saying the gunman had a bomb, and families calling 911 about their loved ones trapped inside the club.

The timeline starts with, “shots fired” at 2:02 a.m. and ends with “subj down,” marking the end the rampage carried out by shooter Omar Mateen, 29, who was killed by police.

The written logs provide a new, detailed look into the massacre from the perspective of people inside the club. Last week, the FBI provided a full transcript of the 911 call made by Mateen, who pledged himself to the ISIS terrorist group and its leader.

(Screenshot/City of Orlando)
(Screenshot/City of Orlando)

In the first several minutes, 911 dispatchers could hear gunshots, silence, and cries for help:

“Desk can hear shooting in the background.”

“Caller is whispering. She is in the bathroom.”

“Multiple down.”

“Someone screaming help.”

“Dsk has open line hearing 20-30 gunshots.”

“My caller is no longer responding, just an open line with moaning.”

(Screenshot/City of Orlando)
(Screenshot/City of Orlando)

The calls also highlight the confusion among police officers responding to the scene. The log shows they were trying to determine exactly what was happening inside the club. By the end of a three-hour-long standoff, 49 people had been killed and 53 wounded.

According to the logs, when nightclub patrons ran for their lives, calls were coming in from the restrooms, the kitchen, as well as an office:

“[Caller] is shot in the leg and knee.”

“People in bathroom are also shot.”

“[Caller advises} his friend has been shot in the chest.”

[Caller advises] victim is losing a lot of blood.”

At 2:15 a.m., a log says the “shooter [was] trapped in the bathroom” along with approximately 10 people in the “handicap stall.”

At 2:25 a.m., details about Mateen started coming in. “Subj has chinstrap facial hair,” one dispatcher said. A few minutes later, it shows Mateen pledged himself to ISIS and claimed to have “possible explosives in the parking lot.”

“Saying he pledges to the Islamic State,” said a dispatcher at 2:40 a.m.

“SWAT breached,” a later entry, updated at 5:02 a.m., said. The officers then shot and killed Mateen.

Last week, at least 25 news outlets, including The Associated Press, sued the City of Orlando for access to the fire and police records related to the nightclub shooting, and for audio of the call between Mateen and police crisis negotiators.

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