Orlando Pulse Nightclub Shooting: Latest Updates and Timeline

By Petr Svab
Petr Svab
Petr Svab
Petr Svab is a reporter covering New York. Previously, he covered national topics including politics, economy, education, and law enforcement.
June 12, 2016 Updated: October 5, 2018

On Sunday, June 12, at about 2 a.m., Omar Mateen opened fire at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Fla., killing 49 and wounding 53. The shooting is the deadliest in U.S. history.

Below are the latest updates, articles, and a timeline of events.


Article: Orlando Shooting Victim Recounts Harrowing Night

We grabbed each other. We started running.

I was shot about three times in my leg. I had fallen down. I tried to get back up, but everyone started running everywhere.

I got trampled over. I shattered and broke my bones on my left leg. So by this time, I couldn’t walk at all. All I could do was lay down there while everyone was running on top of me, trying to get to where they had to be. All I could hear was the shotguns. One after another. People screaming. People yelling for help. Full article.


Article: Pushed to the Limit, Medical Staff Emerge as Heroes After Orlando Terror Attack

Dr. Gary Parrish was scheduled to leave at 3 a.m. on Sunday when the first wave of victims poured in.

“We didn’t quite know what was about to hit us,” said Parrish, the ER medical director for Orlando Regional Medical Center.

Within 30 minutes, surgeons, nurses, and other hospital staff who were off that night, rushed in to help.

“We’re used to gunshot wounds,” said trauma surgeon Dr. William Havron. “But this was somewhat of a surreal experience.” Full article.


On Tuesday morning, a doctor from Orlando Health says 6 shooting victims are “critically injured” and 5 are in “guarded” condition. Eight operations are scheduled for Tuesday. Twenty-seven remain in hospital of the original 44.


Article: On the FBI’s Radar: Shooter Had Been Investigated Before

He didn’t come out of nowhere. The Orlando shooter came under suspicion three full years ago, after boasting of mutual acquaintances with the Boston Marathon bombers and making statements to co-workers that suggested he had radical, violent intentions. But after a 10-month investigation the FBI closed the case, finding no criminal charge to pursue.

Omar Mateen was scrutinized again in 2014 as part of a separate probe into a suicide bomber who attended the same Florida mosque and was a casual acquaintance. Again, agents found no significant radical ties and shifted their focus away.

Did investigators miss something they should have seen? A look at how law enforcement makes these life-and-death judgments. Full article.


Article: Orlando Mourns as Possible Motives Emerge for Club Gunman

The White House and the FBI said 29-year-old Omar Mateen, an American born Muslim, appears to be a “homegrown extremist” who had touted support not just for the Islamic State, but other radical groups that are its enemies.

“So far, we see no indication that this was a plot directed from outside the United States, and we see no indication that he was part of any kind of network,” FBI Director James Comey said Monday. He said Mateen was clearly “radicalized,” at least in part via the internet. Full article.


Article: Woman Recounts Her Escape From Nightclub Amid Panic and Heroism

Letti Amador, 29, a paralegal at an Orlando law firm, has been going to the local Pulse nightclub every couple of months for the past decade.

She was there on Saturday, June 12, for Latino night.

Amador said she usually stays until 2 a.m. or 2:15 a.m., which is around closing time. Full article.


Law enforcement officials say 202 rounds were fired during nightclub shooting.


Hospital Updates

Orlando Health said they have been able to “extubate half of those who went to the ICU on the ventilator, and are no longer giving major amounts of blood.”

“We prepare for situations like these by doing trauma simulations weekly, with large-scale, city-wide simulations arranged as well.”

Orange Regional Medical Center, one of the local hospitals where victims of the shooting were transported, said 44 patients were taken into their care; 6 of them have been released and 9 died (bringing the total deaths to 49). Of the remaining 29, 5 are in grave condition and several others are listed under critical. 

Since the shooting, surgeons have performed 26 operations, with 6 more planned for June 13.


Article: Omar Mateen’s Father on Orlando Shooting: ‘I would have stopped him’

A person who was close to the shooter responsible for the worst mass shooting in American history has the same question as nearly everyone else: Why did he do it?

Seddique Mateen said he didn’t know of 29-year-old son Omar Mateen’s plans to shoot up the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida, on Sunday morning, killing 49 people. Had he known, the father, who is from Afghanistan, said he would have intervened. Full article.


Article: Orlando Mass Shooting: How You Can Help

Multiple local NGOs are taking the initiative to help the Orlando community to recover after a gunman killed 49, plus himself, and wounded 53 at a night club on early Sunday morning, June 12.

Donating blood, fundraising efforts, free counseling offered, and free funeral services. Full article. 


Video: Footage From Victim Shows Gunman Firing Inside Orlando Pulse Nightclub

Shocking footage taken from inside Pulse nightclub in Orlando shows gunshots going off while partygoers are enjoying their night on June 12.

The video was uploaded to Snapchat by Amanda Alvear, 25, who was among those who lost their lives in the deadliest mass shooting in the United States. Full article.


Article: Nightclub Shooter Was a Body Builder, Security Guard

He was a body builder and a security guard, a religious man who attended the local mosque and wanted to become a police officer.

Early Sunday, 29-year-old Omar Mateen opened fire at a gay nightclub in Orlando. Police said 49 victims died and 53 were wounded. Mateen also was killed.

Mateen was the son of an Afghan immigrant who had a talk show in the United States, the nature of which was not entirely clear: A former Afghan official said the program was pro-Taliban and a former colleague said it was enthusiastically pro-American. Full article.


Article: Shooter Wanted to Kill More People, Police Chief Says

The man responsible for the worst mass shooting in U.S. history was about to kill more people at the Orlando, Florida, nightclub on Sunday morning, according to the Orlando police chief.

Orlando Police Chief John Mina, in a Monday morning press conference, revealed that 29-year-old suspect Omar Mateen wanted to kill more people, describing the efforts that law enforcement officials made to try and extract people from inside the nightclub.

“We had an extra off-duty officer working for Pulse nightclub in full police uniform at about [2 a.m.] and he responded to shots fired,” Mina stated, “and he did engage in a gun battle with the suspect” near the Pulse entrance. Full article.


Viewpoint: Where Does the Hate Come From?

I was driving from Sarasota, Florida, to Washington in the pre-dawn hours Sunday morning when my iPhone chirped a news alert.

“More than 50 people dead at a nightclub shooting in Orlando. The deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history.”

And later, news that the gunman reportedly called 911 to declare his loyalty to Islamic State before committing the act, investigators said.

The preceding Monday, less than a week earlier, I had returned to the United States for only my second visit in about two years. In the intervening time I had been on the front lines in Ukraine, in Iraq, and I had visited Paris days after the deadly November terrorist attacks. I had seen, as a war correspondent, the pain of war and the evidence of evil up close and personal. Full article.


Article: Across the World, Shock and Condemnation at Orlando Massacre

From across the world, officials and public figures are expressing condemnation and shock over the Florida mass shooting at the Pulse Orlando nightclub on Sunday when police say a gunman wielding an assault-type rifle opened fire, killing at least 50 people and wounding dozens.

Including: France, Germany, Britain, Israel, Palestinian Territories, Afghanistan, Kuwait, Qatar, Egypt, China, Japan, Australia, Singapore. Full article.


Article: Bodies Removed After Worst Mass Shooting in US History

Dozens of bodies were slowly removed overnight from a popular Orlando gay club after a gunman sprayed the helpless crowd with bullets in violence that killed 50 people and devastated a city famous for family-friendly theme parks.

When the attacker opened fire in the early hours of Sunday morning, it interrupted an evening of drinking, dancing and drag shows at a club known for tolerance for all people. Full article.


Article: As Mass Shootings Plague US, Survivors Mourn Lack of Change

The deadliest shooting in modern U.S. history has people around the world wondering why mass violence keeps happening in America.

For those who have lived through mass shootings, and for the law enforcement officers trying to prevent them, the answer is self-evident.

“Because we allow it,” said Sandy Phillips, whose daughter was among 12 killed at Colorado movie theater in July 2012. Full article.



Article: Orlando Police Chief sends heartfelt email to his staff

Orlando Police Chief John Mina sent an email to all staff in the department on Sunday evening, about 18 hours after responding to the worst mass shooting in American history. 

“On the darkest day of my 25 years at the Orlando Police Department, I wanted to take a moment to tell all of you how proud I am of the work you have done today and will do over the next days and weeks,” Mina said. Full email is here.


Article: Father of shooter recently visited Congress and State Department

Seddique Mateen, an Afghan national, was apparently in Washington, D.C. recently, carrying out advocacy work with the State Department and Congress, according to the Independent Journal. He posted recent pictures of himself on Facebook at the State Department and Democratic Foreign Services Committee offices.


Article: Shooter’s ex-wife speaks out

The former spouse of Orlando shooter Omar Mateen said that he was mentally unstable and often beat her while they were married.

“He was not a stable person,” the ex-wife said in an interview with the Washington Post.

“He beat me. He would just come home and start beating me up because the laundry wasn’t finished or something like that.”


Article: Omar Mateen’s online presence

The Orlando shooter’s MySpace page includes several photos of photos of himself, but it doesn’t offer much in terms of context, including his interests. Omar Mateen only has six people connected to him. The photos he posted on the page were being shared en masse on social media websites.


Article: Victim names start to be released

As families are notified, the first names of the victims have been released.


Infographic: Worst mass shooting in American history

Fifty people were killed and fifty three injured at the Pulse nightclub, making it the worst mass shooting in the last 3 decades by far. The mass shooting at Virginia Tech in 2007 is the second worst, with 33 killed and 23 injured.


2:05 p.m. Article: Obama says shooting is “an act of terror and an act of hate”

President Barack Obama briefly talks to media about the shooting. He says it was “an act of terror and an act of hate.”

He said it is not clear yet what the motivation for the attack was.

The attack was “a further reminder of how easy it is for someone to get their hands on a weapon that lets them shoot people in the school or house of worship or movie theater or in a nightclub,” Obama said. “We have to decide if that is the kind of country we want to be.”

Obama also called for unity: “In the face of hate and violence, we will love one another. We will not give in to fear and turn against each other. Instead, we will stand united as Americans to protect our people and defend our nation, to take action against those who threaten us.”


1:35 p.m. Article: Suspect known to FBI

A law enforcement official says the shooter was known to the FBI before the incident and had been looked at by agents within the last few years.

The official says the matter for which Mateen came under investigation was “open and closed pretty quickly.”


1:20 p.m. – Many donate blood for victims

Hundreds of people have lined up to give blood to help the victims of the massacre.

Officials at OneBlood say they have received such an overwhelming response that they are now asking donors to come back over the next several days.

In the hours after the shooting, officials urged people to donate blood to help the victims.


11:45 a.m. – Shooter’s father speaks

The father of Omar Mateen, Mir Seddique, says he’s in shock and that he wasn’t aware of anything his son might have been planning.

“We are saying we are apologizing for the whole incident. … We are in shock like the whole country,” Seddique said.

The father also says the incident has nothing to do with religion.


11:20 a.m. – Family and friends waiting to hear news

Families and friends are awaiting word outside an Orlando hospital to learn whether their loved ones are among the killed and injured.


11 a.m. – Vehicle secured

Officials at a news conference say they have secured the suspect’s vehicle, a van, right outside the club.


10:30 a.m. Article: 50 killed, 53 injured in shooting

Mayor of Orlando Buddy Dyer says at a news conference that 50 were killed in the shooting and 53 more hospitalized.


10:20 a.m. – Suspect identified

The suspect has been identified as Omar Seddique Mateen, 29, of Port St. Lucie, Florida.


9:45 a.m. – White House statement released

The White House releases a statement saying President Barack Obama has been briefed on the shooting.


Article: Presidential candidates tweet responses

Hillary Clinton 

Hillary Clinton comments on the shooting on Twitter: “Woke up to hear the devastating news from FL. As we wait for more information, my thoughts are with those affected by this horrific act.”

Donald Trump

Donald Trump Tweets about the shooting: “Really bad shooting in Orlando. Police investigating possible terrorism. Many people dead and wounded.”

Bernie Sanders


7:25 a.m. – Police suspect terrorism

Mina says authorities have not determined an exact number of killed, but “approximately 20” have died.

Florida Department of Law Enforcement Special Agent in Charge Danny Banks says the mass shooting is being investigated as an act of terrorism.


7:15 a.m. Article: Shooter armed with assault type rifle and handgun

Orlando Police Chief John Mina talks to media. It is not clear how many died or were injured.

Mina says the shooter was armed with an assault-type rifle, a handgun, and some type of device.

He confirms the shooter exchanged gunshots with an officer working at the club, then went back inside and took hostages around 2 a.m.


5:53 a.m. – Shooter dead

Police announce the shooter is dead.


5:40 a.m. – Multiple gunshots

Multiple gunshots heard from the club area.


5:05 a.m. – Police use explosives

Police Tweets the boom was a “controlled explosion by law enforcement.”


5:03 a.m. – Loud boom heard from club

Loud boom is heard from the club area.


5 a.m.–6 a.m. – SWAT team on site

SWAT members storm the club, shoot and kill Mateen, and free the hostages.


3:58 a.m. – Police tweet warnings

Orlando Police reports on Twitter: “Shooting at Pulse Nightclub on S Orange. Multiple injuries. Stay away from area.”


3:40 a.m. – Twitter user posts pictures

Twitter user Nic Hornstein starts posting pictures taken from a roof across the street from the club. He Tweets the gunman has taken hostages.


Approximately 3 a.m. – Facebook video uploaded

Anthony Torres posts a video on Facebook showing apparent gunshots heard in front of the club.


2:39 a.m. Article: Victim texts last message to mother

As the shooter stormed Pulse nightclub in Orlando, a mother, identified as Mina Justice, said she received text messages from her son who was trapped inside.

“He’s coming. He has us, and he’s in here with us.”

Those were the last words sent by the man, who was inside the Florida nightclub amid the worst mass shooting in U.S. history.


Approximately 2:22 a.m. Article: Shooter calls 911 and pledges allegiance to ISIS

The FBI took a look at the gunman responsible for the worst mass shooting in U.S. history but didn’t have enough impetus to take it further, lawmakers and officials said on Sunday.

But in a 911 call right before the shooting—which is being investigated as domestic terrorism—that left at least 50 people dead in an Orlando, Florida, nightclub early Sunday morning, suspect Omar Mateen apparently pledged allegiance to the leader of the Islamic State


2:09 a.m. – Nightclub posts on Facebook

Pulse posts on its Facebook, “Everyone get out of pulse and keep running.”


2 a.m. – Shooter enters club

Omar Mateen opens fire at the Pulse nightclub. Uniformed police officer on scene intercepts him in a gunfight.

The Associated Press contributed to this article.

Petr Svab
Petr Svab
Petr Svab is a reporter covering New York. Previously, he covered national topics including politics, economy, education, and law enforcement.