Orlando Shooter Wanted to Kill More People, Police Chief Says

June 13, 2016 10:20 am Last Updated: June 13, 2016 11:36 am

Visit here for full coverage of the Orlando mass shooting.

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.

“The suspect was shooting when more officers arrived and he shot at them. He retreated to the bathroom and had several hostages,” he said in the conference, according to a video feed of the conference. During negotiations, Mina said Mateen was calm in a conversation with cops.

Mina said Mateen made references to bombs and talked about ISIS, the Islamic State.

FBI agents investigate the damaged rear wall of the gay nightclub Pulse, where Omar Mateen allegedly killed at least 50 people in Orlando, Fla., on June 12, 2016. The mass shooting killed at least 50 people and injured 53 others in what is the deadliest mass shooting in the country's history. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
FBI agents investigate the damaged rear wall of the gay nightclub Pulse, where Omar Mateen allegedly killed at least 50 people in Orlando, Fla., on June 12, 2016. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

At some point, Mina said that, based on the situation and information from hostages, a “further loss of life was imminent,” forcing authorities to move.

Mina then directed police to break open the wall of the nightclub via an “explosive breach,” which didn’t fully penetrate the wall. An armored vehicle was then deployed to “punch a hole in the wall.”

Mina said that he believes “dozens and dozens” of peoples’ lives were saved as a result, as many people were able to escape the nightclub through the hole.

Mateen then emerged from the hole and engaged in a gun battle with officers, who killed him.

In all, 49 victims were shot and killed. Mateen was the 50th person killed in the incident.

Mateen was armed with an assault rifle and a handgun. Reports on Sunday indicate that he had an AR-15.

FBI special agent Paul Wyposal said in Monday’s press conference that the agency has around 100 leads to investigate. Agents are now processing a large amount of physical evidence.

Federal sources told several media outlets on Sunday that Mateen had been interviewed by the FBI over potential terror links and during a 911 call before the shooting, he pledged allegiance to ISIS.

A former co-worker claimed he saw the attack coming. “He was an angry person, violent in nature, and a bigot to almost every class of person,” said Dan Gilroy, who was a security guard with Mateen for around a year, reported WPTV-TV. Gilroy said his behavior was so alarming that he stopped working with him.

Mateen was able to legally purchase a handgun and assault rifle used in the Pulse nightclub attack, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives said.

Visit here for full coverage of the Orlando mass shooting.