Feds Have Viewed the Surveillance Video of Orlando Nightclub Shooting
The surveillance footage taken from inside the Orlando nightclub shooting that left 49 people dead shows the suspect, Omar Mateen, firing shots at people who were already wounded, law enforcement officials who viewed the evidence said in a report.
One anonymous official, speaking with the Washington Post, said the video shows that Mateen, 29, “was making sure anybody who was shot was dead.” The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the investigation is ongoing.
At the outset, Mateen quickly emptied his magazine and reloaded, firing 30 rounds at a time—which is consistent with what witnesses said of the shooting. The officials said he opened fire on wounded people who were in front of him.
Last week, investigators recovered the graphic video footage from the nightclub’s security cameras, the Orlando Sentinel reported. It is not clear how much of the shooting the videos actually display, but according to a law enforcement official, the video is a minute-by-minute replay of the massacre.
Mateen was armed with a Sig Sauer MCX and a semiautomatic handgun when he opened fire in the early hours of Sunday, June 12. He died three hours later when Orlando SWAT members breached the building’s walls. Witnesses said Mateen killed the majority of the victims within the initial minutes.
Just hours before the shooting, he told his wife he was going to see a friend nicknamed Nemo, officials familiar with the case told the Post. Mateen then drove to the Pulse nightclub in Orlando before getting a wristband to get inside the nightclub. He exited before returning hours later and began his attack.
It’s unclear what Mateen did in the two hours before the attack.
“I cannot tell you definitively that we will ever narrow it down to one motivation,” U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch said in a press conference on Tuesday in Orlando.
During several calls with police during the attack, Mateen identified himself as an Islamic soldier and pledged his allegiance the ISIS terrorist group and its leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, according to an FBI transcript. He added that he was “out here right now” because America was bombing Syria and Iraq, according to the transcript. He proclaimed in the 911 call, “Prayers as well as peace be upon the prophet of God [Arabic].”
Several hours later, the Orlando Police Department’s SWAT members rammed two holes into the bathroom of the nightclub. Hostages emerged from one of the holes and Mateen the other, Mark Canty, the SWAT commander, told the Post. He was then fatally shot by police.