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Omar Mir Seddique MATEEN





Classification: Mass murderer
Characteristics: Shooting at the Pulse gay nightclub
Number of victims: 49
Date of murder: June 12, 2016
Date of birth: November 16, 1986
Victims profile: Stanley Almodovar III, 23 / Amanda Alvear, 25 / Oscar A. Aracena-Montero, 26 / Rodolfo Ayala-Ayala, 33 / Alejandro Barrios Martinez, 21 / Martin Benitez Torres, 33 / Antonio D. Brown, 29 / Darryl R. Burt II, 29 / Jonathan A. Camuy Vega, 24 / Angel L. Candelario-Padro, 28 / Simon A. Carrillo Fernandez, 31 / Juan Chevez-Martinez, 25 / Luis D. Conde, 39 / Cory J. Connell, 21 / Tevin E. Crosby, 25 / Franky J. Dejesus Velazquez, 50 / Deonka D. Drayton, 32 / Mercedez M. Flores, 26 / Juan R. Guerrero, 22 / Peter O. Gonzalez-Cruz, 22 / Paul T. Henry, 41 / Frank Hernandez, 27 / Miguel A. Honorato, 30 / Javier Jorge-Reyes, 40 / Jason B. Josaphat, 19 / Eddie J. Justice, 30 / Anthony L. Laureano Disla, 25 / Christopher A. Leinonen, 32 / Brenda L. Marquez McCool, 49 / Jean C. Mendez Perez, 35 / Akyra Monet Murray, 18 / Kimberly Morris, 37 / Jean C. Nives Rodriguez, 27 / Luis O. Ocasio-Capo, 20 / Geraldo A. Ortiz-Jimenez, 25 / Eric I. Ortiz-Rivera, 36 / Joel Rayon Paniagua, 32 / Enrique L. Rios Jr., 25 / Juan P. Rivera Velazquez, 37 / Yilmary Rodriguez Solivan, 24 / Christopher J. Sanfeliz, 24 / Xavier E. Serrano Rosado, 35 / Gilberto R. Silva Menendez, 25 / Edward Sotomayor Jr., 34 / Shane E. Tomlinson, 33 / Leroy Valentin Fernandez, 25 / Luis S. Vielma, 22 / Luis D. Wilson-Leon, 37 / Jerald A. Wright, 31
Method of murder: Shooting
Location: Orlando, Florida, USA
Status: He was shot and killed the same day by Orlando Police Department (OPD) officers after a three-hour standoff

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Orange County Sheriff's Office - Incident report
Orlando Police Department In Progress Incident Report
Orlando Police Department officers' accounts from the Pulse attack

Omar Mateen


Omar Mir Seddique Mateen (November 16, 1986 – June 12, 2016) was an American mass murderer who killed 49 people and wounded 53 others in a mass shooting at the Pulse gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, on June 12, 2016, before he was killed in a shootout with the local police. It was both the deadliest shooting by a single shooter and the deadliest act of violence against LGBT people in United States history.

Before the shooting, he had been investigated for connections to terrorism by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in 2013 and 2014. During that period, he was placed on the Terrorist Screening Database, but subsequently removed. In a call to 9-1-1 during the shooting, Mateen identified himself as "Mujahideen", "Islamic Soldier", and "Soldier of God"; and pledged his allegiance multiple times to the Sunni militant jihadist group Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). He said the shooting was "triggered" by an airstrike in Iraq that killed Abu Wahib, an ISIL commander, weeks before.

Early life

Mateen was born Omar Mir Seddique on November 16, 1986, in New Hyde Park, New York, to Afghan parents. His father, Mir Seddique Mateen, is a Pashtun who emigrated from Afghanistan in the 1980s. After being raised in New York for a few years, he moved with his family to Port St. Lucie, Florida, in 1991. His family was described as being moderate Muslims and "an all-American family".

Behavior in school

At a young age, Mateen displayed an interest in violence, the Associated Press and The Washington Post reported. For his elementary and middle school education, he attended classes in St. Lucie County, Florida. While at Mariposa Elementary School, a third grade teacher wrote that Mateen was "very active ... constantly moving, verbally abusive, rude, aggressive ... much talk about violence & sex ... hands all over the place – on other children, in his mouth".

In the seventh grade, Mateen was moved to a separate class with the purpose of avoiding "conflicts with other students" and suffered from poor scholarly performance due to "many instances of behavioral problems".

A classmate at Mariposa said that Mateen was a bully, disrespectful to girls and acted like he was better than his classmates. Another classmate reported that Mateen was bullied at school because of his weight and his Afghan heritage. His parents were described as "dismissive" of his poor behavior while his father "had a reputation for being disrespectful of female teachers and dismissive of complaints about his son". In 1999, while Mateen was in the eighth grade, his teacher sent a letter to his father regarding an "attitude and inability to show self-control".

Mateen began his secondary education at Martin County High School in 2000, and at the age of 14 was expelled after being in a fight in math class, where he was briefly arrested without being handcuffed and charged with battery and disrupting school, though the charges were later dropped.

While a sophomore attending Spectrum, an alternative high school for those who have issues with their behavior, classmates told The Washington Post that Mateen cheered in support of the hijackers during the September 11 attacks and that he stated that Osama bin Laden was his uncle who taught him how to shoot AK-47s, all of this before knowing that bin Laden was the mastermind of the attacks.

After his outburst, Mateen's father arrived at the school to pick him up and slapped him in the face, with Mateen later being suspended for five days after the incident. Soon after the September 11 attacks, repeatedly "he shocked other students on his school bus by imitating an exploding plane", reported The New York Times.

A retired dean of Martin County High School, Dan Alley, said that they "tried to counsel him and show him the error of his ways, but it never had the effect that we were hoping for," and that his father "would not back up the school, and he would always take his son's side". Mateen was later sent to St. Lucie West Centennial High School after getting into a fight with a student. By the time Mateen had returned and graduated from Martin County's Stuart Adult Vocational School in 2003, he had been suspended for 48 days for being involved in fights and injuring other students.

Post-secondary education and employment

Mateen attended Indian River State College's Criminal Justice Training program and in a questionnaire, he admitted to committing or being involved in a crime that went undetected, but did not provide specific details and later earned an associate of science degree in criminal justice technology from the college in 2006. He worked in a number of local stores and restaurants while attending school.

In October 2006, Mateen began working as a recruit for the Florida Department of Corrections, being assigned to the Martin Correctional Institution. In a letter explaining his juvenile record as part of his successful application, Mateen explained the incident of when he was arrested at school when he was fourteen. He also wrote that he had experimented with marijuana as a young teenager.

Following the Virginia Tech shooting in April 2007, Mateen suggested in a corrections officer training class that he would bring a gun to class. P.H. Skipper, who was the warden at the institution, wrote that "in light of the tragic events at Virginia Tech officer Mateen's inquiry about bringing a weapon to class is at best extremely disturbing". Days later on April 27, 2007, Mateen "was involuntarily dismissed" from the program and never became a certified corrections officer.

Mateen then worked for British-based security firm G4S Secure Solutions in Jupiter, Florida, from September 2007 until his death. The company said two screenings of Mateen—one conducted upon hiring and the other in 2013—had raised no red flags. Nonetheless, G4S removed Mateen from his job post at a courthouse because of threats he made towards coworkers, including one threat where he claimed he would have al-Qaeda kill a deputy's family. Mateen had claimed that his coworkers and courthouse deputies were making racist comments towards him. Despite this, G4S "kept Mateen as an employee" but moved him "to a kiosk at a gated community in Palm Beach County." They never informed the community or its property management company about why he was transferred there.

Mateen held an active concealed carry permit and an armed security guard license. He passed a multiple choice psychological test and Dr. Syed Shafeeq Rahman, who had close ties with Mateen's family, gave him a medical clearance. It was also noted that Mateen had no adult criminal record. According to licensing records, he was a proficient shooter who scored at or above the 98th percentile with a 9mm semiautomatic pistol.

In 2010, he was videotaped while working security for a site related to the BP oil spill. Mateen said of those working on the cleanup: "Nobody gives a shit here. Everybody's just, get out to get paid. They're like hoping for more oil to come out and more people to complain so they'll have jobs. They want more disaster to happen." Video of his comments were included in a 2012 documentary, The Big Fix.

After the shooting, a psychologist, who was said to have evaluated and cleared Mateen for his firearms license in 2007, according to the records of the security company G4S, denied ever meeting him or having lived in Florida at the time, and said she had stopped her practice in Florida in January 2006. G4S admitted Mateen's form had a "clerical error", and clarified that he had instead been cleared by Rahman, who was from the same firm that bought the wrongly-named doctor's practice. Rahman had not interviewed Mateen, but evaluated the results of a standard test used in the screening he undertook before being hired.

Personal life

In 2006, Mateen filed a petition for a name change, adding Mateen as his surname to match that of his parents.

In April 2009, Mateen married his first wife, an Uzbekistan-born woman whom he met in 2008 through Myspace, a social networking site. They separated after four months and divorced in July 2011.

Mateen visited Saudi Arabia for an eight-day trip in 2011 and a ten-day trip in 2012. The latter was organized by the Islamic Center at New York University. It included twelve New York City police officers and groups from Columbia and Yale and visited Mecca and Medina. Around these times, he went to the United Arab Emirates. FBI Director James Comey said Saudi officials helped investigate Mateen's trips. In June 2016, the House Intelligence Committee said that U.S. investigators "are searching for details about the Saudi Arabia trips."

In 2011, Mateen met his second wife, Noor Salman, on an online dating site, and the two married shortly afterward. She moved into Mateen's Fort Pierce home in November 2012. She grew up in Rodeo, California, the daughter of Muslim Palestinian Arab immigrants. By September 2013, they were living in a house in Port St. Lucie with Mateen's father and another relative. She reportedly left Mateen and joined relatives in Rodeo, California, by December 2015. At the time of his death, Mateen had a three-year-old son with his second wife.

At the time of the shooting, he lived about 100 miles (160 kilometers) from Orlando, Florida, in Fort Pierce, but received mail at his parents' home in nearby Port St. Lucie. According to Florida Department of Law Enforcement records, he had no criminal record in Florida.


Mateen's father, Mir Seddique Mateen, who hosted a TV show called Durand Jirga Show on satellite television network Payam-e-Afghan in 2015 in which he represented himself as a candidate for the President of Afghanistan, and who has expressed gratitude towards the Taliban, said of his son's actions, "This had nothing to do with religion." He was quoted as saying that he had seen his son get angry after witnessing a gay couple kiss in front of his family at the Bayside Marketplace in Miami months before the attack, which he suggested might have been a motivating factor.

Following the nightclub attack, Mateen's ex-wife told media outlets that during their marriage, Mateen was mentally unstable, and would beat her and keep her completely separated from her family. She also said that he was bipolar and had a history of using steroids.

Mateen's second wife also said that Mateen became physically and verbally abusive towards her six months into their marriage, though she noted him being kinder during the last weeks of his life. A former high school student told the Washington Post that he witnessed 15-year-old Mateen on the day of the September 11 attacks being physically assaulted by his father, Mir Seddique Mateen, in front of other students.

Imam Shafiq Rahman at the Fort Pierce Islamic Center told reporters that Mateen would come to the mosque "three or four times a week" with his father and his three-year-old son as recently as two days before the shooting, and said, "He was the most quiet guy. He would come and pray and leave. There was no indication at all of violence." Rahman added that he did not preach violence toward homosexuals.

A former high school friend and coworker said that Mateen had no obvious conflicts with his gay coworkers at Treasure Coast Square, a shopping mall at Jensen Beach.

A former coworker who worked with Mateen in a gated community in western Port St. Lucie described him as "unhinged and unstable". He also said that he frequently made homophobic, racist, and sexist comments, and talked about killing people. The coworker stated he complained to G4S about Mateen "several times"; another co-worker told The New York Times Mateen made people wait at the gate for a number of reasons, including "if it was time for him to do his prayers."

A resident who had lived at the community since 2011 described Mateen as "very polite" and "a very nice, positive person", however, another customer said Mateen "acted like a straight-up predator."

Sexual orientation

People who knew Mateen have speculated that he might have been gay or bisexual. A male friend of his from 2006, when the two were in police academy together, said that Mateen went to gay clubs with him and that Mateen once expressed an interest in dating him. Club-goers also recalled Mateen dancing with another man. One classmate, who asked not to be identified by name, said Mateen asked him if he was gay. The FBI has investigated many of these claims and has not found reasonable evidence to establish that he was gay.

After the shooting, the Orlando Sentinel and The Palm Beach Post reported that at least five regular customers at the Pulse nightclub had seen Mateen visit the venue on at least a dozen occasions. Sometimes Mateen drank in a corner by himself "and other times he would get so drunk he was loud and belligerent."

A witness, who recognized Mateen outside the club an hour before the shootings, told investigators that Mateen had been messaging him for about a year using a gay dating app called Jack'd. He gave his phone to the FBI for analysis, along with his login details for the application.

A third witness said that Mateen had tried to pick up men at the nightclub. Dozens of other witnesses, however told the Tampa Bay Times that they had never seen Mateen at the nightclub. A spokesperson for Barbara Poma, the owner of the Pulse nightclub, called the statement that Mateen had been a regular patron "untrue and totally ridiculous".

Mateen's father Seddique denied that his son was closeted, saying, "If he was gay, why would he do something like this?" Two days later, after multiple reports questioned whether Mateen was homosexual, Mateen's father said, "I didn't see any of it and I don't believe that was the case."

However, during an interview with the Brazilian television station SBT Brazil, Mateen's ex-wife claimed that his father called him gay while in her presence. Following the shooting, Mateen's father stated, in an online video in his native language, Dari: "In this month of Ramadan, the gay and lesbian issue is something that God will punish", though "the servants of God shouldn't have anything to do with it."

The Wall Street Journal reported Mateen's ex-wife as saying that "[he] did feel strongly about homosexuality". When asked if Mateen was gay, his ex-wife said she "didn't know" and recalled that he had confessed to going to nightclubs. Gawker reported that his ex-wife's fiance, Marco Dias, told Brazilian media in Portuguese that she had told him that Mateen had "gay tendencies". He also added that his family and others believed he was gay, and that "the FBI asked her not to tell this to the American media".

Investigation into claims

On June 16, The New York Times reported that the FBI was skeptical of reports that Mateen was "gay but 'closeted'" and that he had made use of homosexual bars or apps. On June 18, the same source added that "federal officials say they have found no evidence in his effects or online presence to back them up."

On June 23, the Los Angeles Times reported that the FBI has found no evidence "to support claims by those who say Mateen had gay lovers or communicated on gay dating apps." Investigators consider at least one claimant of homosexual relationships with Mateen not "credible": a man who self-identified as Mateen's lover-of-two-months, "Miguel", had said that he believed the massacre was out of revenge against Latino men when Mateen learned he may have been exposed to HIV from a Puerto Rican man with whom he had sex, but Mateen's autopsy results confirmed that he was HIV-negative.

On June 25, The New York Times reported that after exhaustive investigation with help from the FBI, Adam4Adam concluded that Mateen had never used its app. With regard to reports of Mateen using its and other dating sites and apps for gay men, an Adam4Adam spokesman said, "I think it was a hoax." Furthermore, the article stated that after 500 interviews, the FBI has not found any evidence of homosexuality "through (Mateen's) web searches, emails or other electronic data". The FBI, however, "has found evidence that Mateen was cheating on his wife with other women".

Attorney General Loretta Lynch is on record as saying of Mateen: "I do not want to definitively rule out any particular motivation here." She later added, "It's entirely possible that he had a singular motive. It's entirely possible that he had a dual motive."

Alleged links to terrorist groups

The FBI investigated Mateen in May 2013 after he made "inflammatory" remarks while working as a security guard. Mateen had told his coworkers that his family was linked to al-Qaeda and that he had joined Hezbollah, both rivals of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and of one another. Mateen pledged allegiance to ISIL during his 2016 shooting. FBI Director James Comey commented on the contradictions within Mateen's statements.

The FBI interviewed Mateen twice after opening an investigation; in these interviews, Mateen admitted to making the statements but "explained that he said them in anger because his co-workers were teasing him." After 10 months, the investigation was closed and Mateen determined not to be a threat.

Mateen had been placed on a terrorist watch list while the investigation was under way, but he was removed from it afterwards. Mateen came to the FBI's attention again in July 2014, when he was linked to Moner Mohammad Abu Salha, an American who had traveled to Syria and committed a suicide bombing in late May 2014. The two had been acquainted and "attended the same mosque." The investigation continued, but focused on Abu Salha rather than Mateen, law-enforcement officials told The Wall Street Journal.

U.S. Representative Adam Schiff, the ranking Democratic member of the House Intelligence Committee, said that according to the Department of Homeland Security, Mateen had pledged allegiance to ISIL, though analysts noted that "at this point, it's anyone's guess as to how involved Omar Mateen was with either Al Qaeda or ISIL."

Mateen had also pledged support for a suicide bomber who claimed to represent the al-Nusra Front, a Syrian branch of al-Qaeda and an opponent of ISIL. After Mateen's attack, the FBI determined his computer had been used to watch extremist videos, including beheadings, and "to seek information on Islamic State." His wife knew he watched the jihadist videos, "but she did not think much of it because the F.B.I. seemed to have cleared him." A survivor of the shooting said Mateen talked about wanting the United States to "stop bombing my country" and confirmed that Mateen pledged allegiance to ISIL.

Role in the Orlando nightclub shooting

Before the shooting

Two months before the attack, Mateen transferred his share of a Port St. Lucie home for only $10 to his sister and brother-in-law.

Mateen legally purchased a Sauer SIG MCX semi-automatic rifle and a 9mm Glock 17 handgun, the two firearms later used in the shooting, from a gun shop in Port St. Lucie two weeks before the shooting. He also attempted to purchase body armor, but was unable to do so as the store where he tried to make the purchase did not sell the product he sought.

A few weeks before the attack, he attempted to purchase body armor and 1,000 rounds of bulk ammunition at another gun shop, but the staff became suspicious of him and turned him away. A salesperson at the shop then said he contacted the FBI, but federal officials said they had no record of such a report, and the local sheriff's office also said it was unaware of the incident.

Officials briefed on the investigation also stated that Mateen went to an unspecified Walt Disney World theme park with his wife. He visited both Disney Springs, where security is less strict than at Disney theme parks, and Pulse between June 1 and 6 during the Gay Days 2016 celebrations at Disney World and in the Orlando area.

NBC News reported that Mateen's second wife told the FBI she "drove him once to the gay nightclub, Pulse, because he wanted to scope it out". An official involved with the investigation told the Associated Press that authorities believed she knew about the plot beforehand, but were reluctant to charge her based only on this suspicion. Days before the shooting, she had accompanied Mateen on a trip to buy ammunition and warned him the evening before the event against anything that he might be planning.

An imam for a mosque in Kissimmee said Mateen prayed there with his wife and child during the week preceding the shooting. He released video footage showing what appeared to be Mateen on June 8, four days before the shooting, praying for about ten minutes.

Hours before the attack, Mateen stopped by his parents' home to visit his father, who said he did not notice anything strange about his son during the visit. That same day, he gave his second wife $1,000 and allowed her to visit her mother in California.

ABC News and Fox News reported that on the early morning of June 12, the day of the attack, Mateen posted on one of his Facebook accounts: "The real muslims will never accept the filthy ways of the west ... You kill innocent women and children by doing us taste the Islamic state [sic] vengeance" as well as "America and Russia stop bombing the Islamic state." His final post to Facebook was "In the next few days you will see attacks from the Islamic State in the usa." These posts, since deleted, were uncovered by the United States Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs.

Shooting and death

At approximately 2:00 a.m. on June 12, 2016, Mateen entered the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida, and began shooting. At 2:22 a.m., he made a 9-1-1 call in which he pledged allegiance to ISIL; referenced Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the Boston Marathon bombers;[98] and mentioned Moner Mohammad Abu Salha, an acquaintance of his who died in a suicide bombing in Syria for the Al-Nusra Front in 2014.

According to FBI officials, Mateen made two other 9-1-1 calls during the shooting. He also called News 13 of Orlando and identified himself as the nightclub shooter; The Washington Post reported that "he had carried out the Pulse attack for the Islamic State".

Mateen took hostages after police arrived and engaged in a gunfight with him. At approximately 5:00 a.m., police shot and killed Mateen, ending the shooting. A total of 49 people were left dead along with Mateen and 53 others were injured. Mateen was reported to have fired at least 110 rounds during the entire event.

The attack was the deadliest mass shooting by a single gunman in United States history,[a] the deadliest incident of violence against LGBT people in U.S. history,[b] and the deadliest terrorist attack in the U.S. since September 11, 2001.

After the shooting, Mateen was eventually buried in the Muslim Cemetery of South Florida, in Hialeah Gardens. An autopsy found that Mateen was shot eight times by police in the head, chest, abdomen, calf, feet, and toe. The bullets, fired from a short distance, went through and through from front to back, suggesting Mateen was shot while facing officers. Several lacerations and "blunt-force injuries", such as bruising and scrapes to his torso, were found, though the origin of these wounds were made unclear. No alcohol or illegal drugs were detected in his system.

Later events

Mateen's second wife, Noor Salman, was arrested at her home in the San Francisco Bay Area, on January 16, 2017. The FBI believed she was not truthful with them when questioned following the shooting. She was charged with aiding and abetting as well as obstruction of justice and was scheduled to be arraigned in court in Oakland, California. She pleaded not guilty on January 18, 2017.


2016 Orlando nightclub shooting

On June 12, 2016, Omar Mateen, a 29-year-old security guard, killed 49 people and wounded 53 others in a terrorist attack/hate crime inside Pulse, a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, United States. He was shot and killed by Orlando Police Department (OPD) officers after a three-hour standoff.

Pulse was hosting Latin Night and most of the victims were Latino. It was both the deadliest mass shooting by a single shooter and the deadliest incident of violence against LGBT people in United States history. It was also the deadliest terrorist attack in the United States since the September 11 attacks in 2001.

In a 9-1-1 call shortly after the shooting began, Mateen swore allegiance to the leader of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, and said the shooting was "triggered" by the U.S. killing of Abu Waheeb in Iraq the previous month. He later told a negotiator he was "out here right now" because of the American-led interventions in Iraq and in Syria, and that the negotiator should tell the United States to stop bombing.

Initial reports said Mateen may have been a patron of the nightclub and used gay dating websites and apps, but Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) officials said they have not found any credible evidence to substantiate these claims. The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) also conducted an investigation and said it found no links between ISIL and Mateen.


During the period they have been able to operate openly, LGBT nightclubs in the United States have suffered several attacks, most if not all of which have been rooted in the history of violence against LGBT people in the United States. These include an unsolved arson attack on the UpStairs Lounge in 1973 that killed 32; the bombing of the Otherside Lodge by Eric Rudolph in 1997; shots fired into a bar in Roanoke, Virginia by Ronald Edward Gay in 2000; a 2006 hatchet and handgun attack inside Puzzles Lounge, located in New Bedford, Massachusetts, that injured four; and an attempted 2013 arson attack on the Neighbours Nightclub in Seattle by Musab Mohammed Masmari.


First shots and hostage situation

On June 11, 2016, Pulse, a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, was hosting Latin Night, a weekly Saturday night event drawing a primarily Hispanic crowd. About 320 people were inside the club, which was serving last call drinks at around 2:00 a.m. EDT on June 12.

After arriving at the club by van, Omar Mateen approached the building on foot, armed with a SIG Sauer MCX[6] semi-automatic rifle and a 9mm Glock 17 semi-automatic pistol. At 2:02 a.m., a uniformed off-duty Orlando Police Department (OPD) officer working extra duty as a security guard engaged Mateen. Mateen bypassed him into the building and began shooting patrons. Two additional officers also engaged Mateen, who then retreated farther into the nightclub and "began a 'hostage situation'".

In the next 45 minutes, about 100 officers from the OPD and the Orange County Sheriff's Office were dispatched to the scene. Among the earliest first responders to arrive were a firefighter crew from Fire Station 5 and two supporting firefighter paramedics from Fire Station 7. Eighty Fire and Emergency Medical Services personnel from the Orlando Fire Department were deployed during the entire incident.

During the shooting, some of the people who were trapped inside the club sought help by calling or sending text messages to friends and relatives. Initially, some of them thought the gunshots were firecrackers or part of the music. A recently discharged Marine veteran who was working as a bouncer immediately recognized the sounds as gunfire from a high-caliber gun, jumped over a locked door—behind which dozens of people were hidden and paralyzed by fear—and opened a latched door behind them that allowed about 70 people to escape.

Many described a scene of panic and confusion caused by the loud music and darkness. One person shielded herself by hiding inside a bathroom and covering herself with bodies. A bartender said she took cover beneath the glass bar. At least one patron tried to help those who were hit. According to a man trapped inside a bathroom with fifteen other patrons, Mateen fired sixteen times into the bathroom, through the closed door, killing at least two and wounding several others.

According to one of the hostages, Mateen entered a bathroom where people were hiding and opened fire, wounding several. The hostage, who had taken cover inside a stall with others, was injured by two bullets and struck with flying pieces of a wall that was hit by stray bullets. Mateen's rifle then jammed briefly, at which point he switched to using a handgun. Two survivors quoted Mateen as saying, "I don't have a problem with black people", and that he "wouldn't stop his assault until America stopped bombing his country". Other survivors heard Mateen claim that he had explosives as well as snipers stationed around the club.

Patrons trapped inside called or texted 9-1-1 to warn of the possible presence of explosives.

Emergency response

At 2:09 a.m., several minutes after the gunfire started, the club posted on its Facebook page, "Everyone get out of pulse and keep running." At 2:22 a.m., Mateen placed a 9-1-1 call in which he mentioned the Boston Marathon bombers—Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev—as his "homeboys" and made a reference to Moner Mohammad Abu Salha, an American citizen who died in a suicide bombing in Syria in 2014.

Mateen said he was inspired by Abu Salha's death for the Al-Nusra Front targeting Syrian government troops (a mutual enemy of the two Salafist groups, despite their history of violence with each other), and swore allegiance to ISIL leader al-Baghdadi. The FBI said that Mateen and Abu Salha had attended the same mosque and knew each other "casually". Mateen made two other 9-1-1 calls during the shooting. Numerous 9-1-1 calls were made by the patrons inside the nightclub around this time.

After the initial rounds of gunfire between Mateen and the security guard at Pulse, six officers, with at least a couple carrying assault rifles, shot out a large glass window and followed the sound of shooting to the bathroom area. When Mateen stuck his head out from one of the bathrooms, at least two officers shot at him. After the gunfire stopped, they were ordered to hold position instead of storming the bathroom, according to one of the officers.

After about 15 to 20 minutes, SWAT arrived and had the officers withdraw as the officers were "not really in tactical gear". SWAT then took over the operation. On why the officers didn't proceed to the bathroom and engage him, Orlando Police Chief John Mina said it was because Mateen "went from an active shooter to a barricaded gunman" and had hostages. He also noted, "If he had continued shooting, our officers would have went in there." At that time, the last shot by Mateen was fired between 2:10 a.m. and 2:18 a.m.

Phone calls and negotiations

At 2:45 a.m., Mateen called News 13 of Orlando and said, "I'm the shooter. It's me. I am the shooter." He then said he was carrying out the shooting on behalf of ISIL and began speaking rapidly in Arabic. Mateen also said the shooting was "triggered" by a U.S.-led bombing strike in Iraq that killed Abu Wahib, an ISIL military commander, on May 6.

A crisis negotiator was present as Mateen was holed up inside and holding hostages. Officers initially believed he was armed with a "suspicious device" that posed a threat, but it was later revealed to be a battery that fell out of an exit sign or smoke detector.

Police hostage negotiators spoke with Mateen by telephone three times between 2:48 a.m. and 3:27 a.m. He claimed during one of the calls that he had bombs strapped onto him. At 3:58 a.m., the OPD announced to the public that there was a shooting at the club, and that there were multiple injuries. At 4:21 a.m., eight of the hostages escaped after police had removed an air conditioning unit from an exterior wall.

At approximately 4:29 a.m., Mateen told negotiators that he planned to strap explosive vests to four hostages, strategically place them in different corners of the building, and detonate them in 15 minutes. OPD officers then decided to end negotiations and prepare to blow their way in.

At around 2:30 a.m., Mateen's second wife—after receiving a call from her mother at approximately 2:00 a.m. asking where her husband was—sent a text message to Mateen asking where he was. Mateen texted back asking her if she had seen the news. After she replied, "No?", Mateen responded, "I love you, babe." According to one source, she texted him back at one point saying that she loved him. She also called him several times during the standoff, but he did not answer. She found out about what was happening at 4:00 a.m. after the police told her to get out of her house with her hands up.

A survivor of the shooting recalled Mateen saying he wanted the United States to "stop bombing his country". The FBI said Mateen "told a negotiator to tell America to stop bombing Syria and Iraq and that was why he was 'out here right now'".

Rescue and resolution

The FBI reported that no shots were heard between the time Mateen stopped exchanging gunfire with the first responders and 5:02 a.m., when Orlando police breached the building's wall. Just before the breach, Mateen entered a women's bathroom where the hostages were hiding and opened fire, killing a man who sacrificed his life to save the woman behind him and at least one other, according to witnesses.

At 5:07 a.m., fourteen SWAT officers—after failing to blow open a big enough hole in the bathroom's exterior wall using a bomb—successfully breached the building when a policeman drove a BearCat armored vehicle through a wall, then used two flashbangs to distract him and shot at him.

At 5:14 a.m., Mateen engaged the officers. He was shot eight times and killed in the resulting shootout, which involved at least eleven officers who fired a total of about 150 bullets. He was reported "down" at 5:17 a.m.

At 5:05 a.m., the police said a bomb squad had set off a controlled explosion. At 5:53 a.m., the Orlando police posted on Twitter, "Pulse Shooting: The shooter inside the club is dead." Thirty hostages were freed during the police operation. The survivors were searched by police for guns and explosives.


Fifty people died in the incident, including Mateen, and another 53 were injured, some critically. Many underwent surgery. Thirty-nine, including Mateen, were pronounced dead at the scene, and eleven at local hospitals.

Most of the injured—44 people—were taken to the Orlando Regional Medical Center (ORMC), the primary regional trauma center three blocks away; twelve others went to Florida Hospital Orlando. Nine of ORMC's patients died there, and by June 14, 27 remained hospitalized, with six in critical condition. ORMC performed a total of 76 surgeries on its patients. The last of the injured was discharged from ORMC on September 6, nearly three months after the shooting.

Autopsies of all 49 deceased victims were completed by the Orange County Medical Examiner's Office by June 14, and their results were released in early August. According to the autopsy reports, many of the victims were shot multiple times in the front or side, and from a short distance. More than a third were shot in the head, and most had multiple bullet wounds and were likely shot more than 3 feet (0.91 meters) away. In total, there were over 200 gunshot wounds.

A responding police officer received a minor eye injury when a bullet hit his helmet. Pulse was hosting Latin Night; over 90% of the victims were of Hispanic background, and half of those were of Puerto Rican descent. Four Dominicans and three Mexican citizens were killed; three Colombians and two Canadians were injured. An off-duty United States Army Reserve captain at the club who was not in uniform was also killed.

The attack is the deadliest mass shooting by a single shooter in United States history; the deadliest incident of violence against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people in the history of the United States—surpassing the 1973 UpStairs Lounge arson attack—and the deadliest terrorist attack in the United States since the September 11 attacks in 2001.

List of the dead

The names and ages of the victims killed were confirmed by the City of Orlando after their next of kin had been notified:

Stanley Almodovar III, 23
Amanda Alvear, 25
Oscar A. Aracena-Montero, 26
Rodolfo Ayala-Ayala, 33
Alejandro Barrios Martinez, 21
Martin Benitez Torres, 33
Antonio D. Brown, 29
Darryl R. Burt II, 29
Jonathan A. Camuy Vega, 24
Angel L. Candelario-Padro, 28
Simon A. Carrillo Fernandez, 31
Juan Chevez-Martinez, 25
Luis D. Conde, 39
Cory J. Connell, 21
Tevin E. Crosby, 25
Franky J. Dejesus Velazquez, 50
Deonka D. Drayton, 32
Mercedez M. Flores, 26
Juan R. Guerrero, 22
Peter O. Gonzalez-Cruz, 22
Paul T. Henry, 41
Frank Hernandez, 27
Miguel A. Honorato, 30
Javier Jorge-Reyes, 40
Jason B. Josaphat, 19
Eddie J. Justice, 30
Anthony L. Laureano Disla, 25
Christopher A. Leinonen, 32
Brenda L. Marquez McCool, 49
Jean C. Mendez Perez, 35
Akyra Monet Murray, 18
Kimberly Morris, 37
Jean C. Nives Rodriguez, 27
Luis O. Ocasio-Capo, 20
Geraldo A. Ortiz-Jimenez, 25
Eric I. Ortiz-Rivera, 36
Joel Rayon Paniagua, 32
Enrique L. Rios Jr., 25
Juan P. Rivera Velazquez, 37
Yilmary Rodriguez Solivan, 24
Christopher J. Sanfeliz, 24
Xavier E. Serrano Rosado, 35
Gilberto R. Silva Menendez, 25
Edward Sotomayor Jr., 34
Shane E. Tomlinson, 33
Leroy Valentin Fernandez, 25
Luis S. Vielma, 22
Luis D. Wilson-Leon, 37
Jerald A. Wright, 31


The gunman was identified as 29-year-old Omar Mateen, an American born in New Hyde Park, New York. His parents were Afghan, and he was raised as a Muslim. At the time of the shooting, he lived in an apartment complex in Fort Pierce, Florida, 117 miles (188 kilometers) from the Pulse nightclub in Orlando.

After the shooting, Mateen was buried in the Muslim Cemetery of South Florida, near Hialeah Gardens.

Personal life

From October 2006 until April 2007, Mateen trained to be a prison guard for the Florida Department of Corrections. As a probationary employee, he received an "administrative termination (not involving misconduct)" upon a warden's recommendation after Mateen joked about bringing a gun to school.

Mateen unsuccessfully pursued a career in law enforcement, failing to become a Florida state trooper in 2011 and to gain admission to a police academy in 2015. According to a police academy classmate, Mateen threatened to shoot his classmates at a cookout in 2007 "after his hamburger touched pork" in violation of Islamic dietary laws.

Since 2007, he had been a security guard for G4S Secure Solutions. The company said two screenings—one conducted upon hiring and the other in 2013—had raised no red flags. Mateen held an active statewide firearms license and an active security officer license, had passed a psychological test, and had no criminal record.

After the shooting, the psychologist who reportedly evaluated and cleared Mateen for his firearms license in 2007 by G4S records denied ever meeting him or having lived in Florida at the time, and said she had stopped her practice in Florida since January 2006. G4S admitted Mateen's form had a "clerical error" and clarified that he had instead been cleared by another psychologist from the same firm that bought the wrongly-named doctor's practice. This doctor had not interviewed Mateen, but evaluated the results of a standard test used in the screening he undertook before being hired. G4S was subsequently fined for lapses in its psychological testing program (see below).

In 2009, Mateen married his first wife, who left him after a few months; the couple's divorce became final in 2011. Following the nightclub attack, she said Mateen was "mentally unstable and mentally ill" and "obviously disturbed, deeply, and traumatized", was often physically abusive, and had a history of using steroids. His autopsy revealed signs of long-term and habitual steroid use, so more toxicology tests were ordered for confirmation. As of July 15, federal investigators are uncertain whether Mateen's steroid use was a factor in the attack.

At the time of the shooting, Mateen was married to his second wife and had a young son.


A former coworker of Mateen's at G4S said Mateen "had talked about killing people",[114] used slurs and "had a lot of hatred for people. Black people, women, he did not like Jews, he did not like Hispanics, nor did he like gay or lesbian people."

An unnamed police academy classmate said Mateen asked him out around 2006, that they had spent time at gay bars together after class, and that he believed Mateen was gay. He also described him as "socially awkward" and disliked by classmates.

A man who self-identified as Mateen's lover-of-two-months, "Miguel", stated that he believed the massacre was out of revenge against Latino men when Mateen learned he may have been exposed to HIV from a Puerto Rican man with whom he had sex. Mateen's autopsy results confirmed that he was HIV-negative.

At least four regular Pulse customers reported having seen Mateen visit the nightclub on no fewer than a dozen occasions. One of them said he would sometimes become drunkenly "loud and belligerent", and at other times would drink in a corner by himself.

According to a witness who recognized him outside the club an hour before the shooting, Mateen had messaged him using Jack'd, a gay dating app, intermittently over the course of a year before the attack. Another witness said Mateen used Grindr, a gay hook-up app, and Adam4Adam website to communicate with gay men, and had posted pictures of himself on both sites. A third witness said Mateen would try to pick up men at the nightclub.

However, according to federal law enforcement officials, the FBI suspects the witnesses claiming Mateen's homosexuality could be mistaken, and has doubts that Mateen was gay. Law enforcement sources said the FBI found no photographs, text messages, smartphone apps, pornography, or cell tower location data to suggest Mateen lived a gay life, closeted or otherwise.

On the day of the shooting, Mateen's father, Mir Seddique Mateen, said that he had seen his son get angry after seeing a gay couple kiss in front of his family at the Bayside Marketplace in Miami months prior to the shooting, which he suggested might have been a motivating factor.

Two days later, after his son's sexual orientation became a subject of speculation, Mateen's father said he did not believe his son was homosexual. Mateen's ex-wife, however, claimed that his father called him gay while in her presence. Speaking on her behalf, her current fiancé said that she, his family, and others believed he was gay, and that "the FBI asked her not to tell this to the American media".

In the hours before the shooting, Mateen used several Facebook accounts to write posts vowing vengeance for American airstrikes in Iraq and Syria and to search for content related to terrorism. These posts, since deleted, were recovered and included in an open letter by Senate Homeland Security Chairman Ron Johnson to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg seeking further information about Mateen's use of the site.

During the shooting, Mateen made a 9-1-1 call claiming, among others, it was an act of retaliation for the killing of ISIL militant Abu Waheeb in an airstrike the previous week.


Security-camera video footage was recovered from the nightclub as part of the investigation. Facebook activated its "Safety Check" feature in the Orlando area following the shooting, allowing users to mark themselves as "safe" to notify family and friends—the first use of the feature in the United States.

Following the shooting, many business venues in the United States, such as shopping malls, movie theaters, bars, and concert halls, reexamined their security procedures. Also, police forces across the country announced plans to increase security at LGBT landmarks such as the Stonewall Inn and at Pride Month events including pride parades.

Two former SWAT members, one an active-shooter tactics expert and trainer, expressed misgivings about the three-hour delay in breaching the nightclub, citing the lesson learned from other mass shootings that officers can minimize casualties only by entering a shooting location expeditiously, even if it means putting themselves at great risk.

Seddique Mateen released a Dari language video statement via Facebook on June 13 to speak about his son's actions.

A June 13 broadcast from the Iraqi ISIL radio station al-Bayan said Mateen was "one of the soldiers of the caliphate in America", without indicating any foreknowledge of the shooting.

On September 10, the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services fined G4S Secure Solutions $151,400 for providing inaccurate psychological testing information on more than 1,500 forms over a ten-year period, which allowed employees to carry firearms. Mateen's form was among those investigated.

On November 4, it was reported that the Orlando Police Department was upgrading its equipment for officers following the shooting, since officers at the nightclub were not well-equipped for the event and therefore endangered. The upgraded equipment included bulletproof helmets and heavier bulletproof vests.

Following the shooting and a car ramming attack and mass stabbing at Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio, a new federal initiative was launched, partially in response to at least one victim bleeding to death inside Pulse during the shooting. The initiative was designed to train people working at schools and other public places on how to treat injuries before paramedics arrive at the scene. Doctors have emphasized the importance for school faculty members to stay calm and assess injuries, but also discouraged the use of more invasive emergency procedures such as removing a bullet.

Victim assistance efforts

The FBI's Office of Victim Assistance (OVA) provided "information, assistance services, and resources" to the victims and witnesses of the shooting that, depending on their case-by-case eligibility, may have consisted of "special funding to provide emergency assistance, crime victim compensation, and counseling". The OVA, through its Victim Assistance Rapid Deployment Team and Crisis Response Canines, also provided help to responders of the shooting in the days following June 12.

Immediately after the shooting, many people lined up to donate blood at local blood donation centers and bloodmobile locations when OneBlood, a regional blood donation agency, urged people to donate. The surge in blood donations and the fact that the shooting targeted a gay nightclub spotlighted the Food and Drug Administration's controversial federal policy that forbids men who had sex with men in the past year from donating blood. Despite expressions of frustration and disapproval by a number of gay and bisexual men, and LGBT activists across the country and a group of Democratic lawmakers urging the ban to be lifted, FDA stated on June 14 that it had no plans to change the regulation and will reevaluate its policies "as new scientific information becomes available".

A victims' assistance center, Orlando Family Assistance Center, was opened on June 15 inside Camping World Stadium by the City of Orlando. During the eight days it was open, it provided help to 956 people from 298 families. Those remaining were then directed to the newly opened Orlando United Assistance Center jointly set up by the City and Orange County, which, according to the mayor of Orlando, "will stay open as long as there is a need".

The two hospitals that treated Pulse victims, Orlando Regional Medical Center and Florida Hospital, announced in late August that they will not be billing the survivors or pursuing reimbursement.

The City of Orlando offered free plots and funeral service at the city-owned Greenwood Cemetery for those killed in the shooting.

Fundraising campaigns

Equality Florida, the state's largest LGBT rights group, started a fundraising page to aid the victims and their families, raising $767,000 in the first nine hours. As of September 22, they have raised over $7.85 million online, a record for GoFundMe, with a total of over 119,400 donors and an average of about $66 per donation.

Another fundraising campaign, OneOrlando, was established by Mayor Buddy Dyer. The Walt Disney Company and NBCUniversal, which operate the nearby Walt Disney World Resort and Universal Orlando Resort, respectively, each donated $1 million to the fund.

As of August 12, OneOrlando has raised $23 million, with a draft proposal to start payouts starting September 27 on a rolling basis in which the highest compensations will go to the families of the 49 people killed, followed by the 50 victims who were physically injured and hospitalized for one night or more. OneOrlando's fund administrator said that the draft has not decided whether to pay people who were held hostage but were not injured, and will take public feedback in two 90-minute hearings to be held on August 4. A timeline of the draft proposal was released.

On August 11, its board of directors decided that the funds will only be dispersed to "the families of the dead, survivors who were hospitalized, survivors who sought outpatient medical treatment, and those who were present in the club when the shootings began but not physically injured", and that family members and survivors can start filing claims until the September 12 deadline. As of December 1, OneOrlando paid out over $27.4 million to 299 recipients, according to officials, with six more claims worth an additional $2.1 million still being contested among family members of the slain victims.

Release of transcripts and videos

A total of 603 calls to 9-1-1 were made by victims, family members and friends of victims, bystanders, and rescue workers during the entire shooting. On June 14, two dozen news agencies sent a four-page letter to Orlando's city attorney jointly demanding the release of recordings that 9-1-1 callers made on the night of the shooting. The letter also contained a request for scanner and dispatch recordings. The Orlando police refused to release the recordings, citing an "ongoing investigation".

On June 20, the FBI released a transcript of the first call by the shooter and a summary of three calls with police negotiators. On July 14, the University of Central Florida Police Department released nine body camera videos of UCFPD officers who rushed to Pulse to help Orlando police officers during the incident.

On July 18, the City of Orlando released a detailed 71-page document of OPD officers' accounts and responses to the shooting. Requests to release recordings of 9-1-1 calls, police radio transmissions, and the exchanges between law enforcement and Mateen were denied, citing disagreements over whether they fall under local or federal jurisdiction. The status on the authority over the recordings is pending a court ruling.

On July 20, the Orange County Sheriff's Office (OCSO) released video footage from a body camera worn by one of its deputies during the incident. On July 26, the Orange County Fire Rescue released a recording of a 9-1-1 call made during the shooting. On July 29, the OCSO released dozens of pages of documents detailing the deputies' individual accounts of their involvement in the shooting.

On August 30, the OCSO released the 9-1-1 calls it received during the shooting. Two days later, OPD and the city of Orlando released nine of their hundreds of 9-1-1 calls, which were all made by friends and relatives outside of Pulse during the incident; the rest are locked in a legal dispute between 24 media groups, OPD, and the city of Orlando.

On September 14, the city of Orlando released 23 additional 9-1-1 calls made during the shooting. These included calls made from rescue workers advising preparedness for dozens of victims, a patron who escaped from Pulse with a friend who was shot, and the brother of a woman who was shot several times and trapped inside a bathroom in the nightclub.

On October 31, the City of Orlando released nearly 30 minutes of recordings of police negotiators talking with Mateen during the course of the shooting, after a judge with the Ninth Judicial Circuit Court of Florida ruled that these calls should be made public. A total of 232 other calls are still being withheld by the city.

On November 10, the Orange County Sheriff's office released about two dozen videos of body camera footage of officers at the perimeter of the nightclub during the shooting. The footage, which was heavily censored, depicted officers conducting searches of bathrooms in the nightclub and tending to survivors.

On November 14, the City of Orlando released 36 police audio recordings made during the shooting, which record officers' attempts to contact Mateen, their remarks on his "serious, unruffled attitude", and their conversations about how to respond to the hostage situation. Also released that day was an additional 9-1-1 call made by a woman who made it out of the nightclub with her sister, who was shot.

The next day, on November 15, 21 additional 9-1-1 calls were released. This was followed by three additional hours of 9-1-1 calls released on November 16. In many of these calls, people who were trapped inside bathrooms, kitchens, and an upstairs office were questioning why police had yet to enter the nightclub.

Two days later, on November 18, 107 pages of transcripts of more than 30 9-1-1 calls were released. These calls were made during the first ten minutes of the shooting, and had to be released in the form of transcripts after a judge deemed them too graphic to be released as audio recordings. According to a city spokesman, all 9-1-1 calls made during the shooting have now been released to the public.

Future of Pulse

On September 14, the city of Orlando announced it would pay $4,518 to erect a new fence around the Pulse nightclub on September 19. The fence will feature a commemorative screen-wrap with local artwork that would serve as a memorial to the victims and survivors of the shooting. It will also be smaller than the nightclub's previous fence, in order to allow for more efficient navigation by passers-by.

On November 8, the City of Orlando announced its plans to purchase the Pulse nightclub on November 14 for $2.25 million and turn the site into a memorial for the victims and survivors of the shooting. The announcement was met with praise from Orlando's LGBT community. However, the vote was postponed on November 15, with the city explaining that "more time was needed to plan a future memorial", and that there was some discomfort from city officials over having to pay such an amount of money. The vote was expected to be held on or before December 5. The owner refused to sell the nightclub to the city in December 2016.



Officials have characterized the shooting as an act of terrorism and a hate crime. FBI Assistant Special Agent in Charge Ron Hopper[214] called the shooting a hate crime and an act of terrorism; and Jerry Demings, a sheriff from the Orange County Sheriff's Office, classified it as domestic terrorism. City of Orlando Chief of Police John W. Mina said Mateen seemed organized and well-prepared.

On June 13, FBI Director James Comey told reporters, "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". He said the United States Intelligence Community was "highly confident that this killer was radicalized at least in part through the Internet", and that the investigation had found "strong indications of radicalization by this killer and of potential inspiration by foreign terrorist organizations".

Several days after the shooting, the FBI announced on its website that it has become "the lead law enforcement agency responsible for investigating the shooting at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida on June 12, 2016". The agency took the lead after the shooting was classified as a terrorist attack due to Mateen's pledge of allegiance to ISIL during the event.


Federal officials said a SIG Sauer MCX semi-automatic rifle and a 9mm Glock 17 semi-automatic pistol were recovered from Mateen's body, along with additional rounds. Mateen had legally purchased the two guns used in the shooting from a shop in Port St. Lucie: the SIG Sauer MCX rifle on June 4 and the Glock 17 pistol on June 5. He and law enforcement were reported to have fired a total of 202 rounds; Mateen reportedly fired at least 110 rounds. From his car, "hundreds of rounds" were found along with a .38 caliber Smith & Wesson revolver; this gun was not used in the shooting.

Previous FBI investigations into Mateen

Mateen became a person of interest to the FBI in May 2013 and July 2014. The 2013 investigation was opened after he made comments to coworkers about being a member of Hezbollah and having family connections in al-Qaeda, and that he had ties to Nidal Hasan—perpetrator of the 2009 Fort Hood shooting—and Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev—perpetrators of the Boston Marathon bombing.

According to new documents released on July 18, Mateen said that he made these comments in response to "a lot of harassment" and frequent derogatory epithets made by St. Lucie County Sheriff's deputies and his G4S coworkers, who taunted and made jokes about him being a possible Muslim extremist. The comments resulted in his employer G4S removing Mateen from his post and the county sheriff reporting him to the FBI. The documents also show him saying that he was "1000% American" and writing that he was against any "anti American" and "anti humanity" terrorist organizations.

The 2014 investigation was opened after he was linked to Moner Mohammad Abu Salha, an American radical who committed a suicide bombing in Syria. Mateen was interviewed three times in connection with the two investigations. Both cases were closed after finding nothing that warranted further investigation.

After the shooting, Director Comey said the FBI will review its work and methods used in the two investigations. When asked if anything could have or should have been done differently in regard to Mateen, or the FBI's intelligence and actions in relation to him, Comey replied, "So far, the honest answer is, 'I don't think so'".

A little over a month after the shooting, the FBI provided more details about its May 2013–March 2014 investigation into Mateen, which was closed after a veteran FBI agent assigned to the case and his supervisor concluded that "there was just nothing there” and removed his name from the Terrorist Watchlist.

Mateen was interviewed twice during the investigation, and had provided a written statement in which he confessed that he had previously lied to FBI investigators. During the investigation, the FBI had tracked his daily routine using unmarked vehicles, closely examined his phone records, and used two informants to secretly record his face-to-face conversations.

The FBI Director said that they could have taken more initiative in gaining access to his social media accounts in 2013, but noted that back then such checks were not yet "part of [their] investigative DNA". However, it would not have mattered, as the analysis of Mateen's computer after the shooting showed that his social media accounts, including Facebook, had no ties to any terrorist groups, and that he did not post any "radical statements" until the early morning of the shooting. The FBI in 2013 also did not have the probable cause needed to obtain a search warrant in order to secretly listen to his phone calls or probe into Mateen's computer.

On July 26, a Senate homeland security committee chairman sent a four-page letter to the inspector general of the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) requesting an independent review of the FBI's 2013 and 2014 investigations. He wrote that if Mateen had stayed on the FBI watch-list, the federal agency would have been notified if he tried to purchase firearms, in which case the "law enforcement potentially could have uncovered information on social media or elsewhere of Mateen's radicalization".

Searches and possible accomplices

United States officials said Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) may have inspired Mateen without training, instructing, or having a direct connection with him. Investigators have said no evidence linking Mateen to the group has emerged, and have cautioned that the shooting may have been ISIL-inspired without being ISIL-directed, as was the case in the December 2, 2015 attack in San Bernardino, California. Yoram Schweitzer of the Israeli Institute for National Security Studies posited that Mateen associated the attack with ISIL to add notoriety, and said it was very unlikely that ISIL had known of him before the shooting.

On June 16, Director of the Central Intelligence Agency John Brennan told the Senate Intelligence Committee that his agency was "unable to uncover any link" between Mateen and ISIL.

Following the shooting, officers from multiple federal, state, and local law-enforcement agencies (including the FBI, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Florida Department of Law Enforcement, St. Lucie County Sheriff's Office, and Fort Pierce Police Department) converged on Mateen's home in Fort Pierce and another home in Port St. Lucie. A bomb squad checked Mateen's Fort Pierce home for explosives. In June 2016, the House Intelligence Committee said that United States investigators "are searching for details about the Saudi Arabia trips Mateen made in 2011 and 2012."

Senate Intelligence Committee member Angus King said that Mateen's second wife appears to have had "some knowledge of what was going on". Media reports, citing anonymous law enforcement officials, said she was with Mateen as he scouted possible Orlando-area targets (including the Walt Disney World Resort's Disney Springs and the Pulse nightclub) and that she was also with him when he purchased ammunition and a holster in the months leading up to the attack.

Alleged accomplice

Mateen's second wife, Noor Salman, was arrested on January 16, 2017, at her home in Rodeo, California. She was charged with aiding and abetting as well as obstruction of justice. She appeared in court for the first time on January 17. Federal prosecutors accused her of knowing that Mateen was planning an attack. On the next day, she pleaded not guilty to the charges. Salman's parents immigrated to the U.S. in 1985 from the Palestinian West Bank.


On July 8, Chief Mina requested help from the DOJ in finding an independent agency to conduct an after action report. For the AAR, the agency will assess and review the OPD's response to the shooting. Mina said he is confident the responding officers did a good job, and decided to ask for help after a discussion with other police chiefs around the country who stressed the importance of a third-party review. The DOJ has accepted his request and announced on July 16 that its Office of Community Oriented Policing Services will conduct an "after-action assessment" of the Orlando police's preparedness for and methods used in the shooting.

On July 13, Special Agent in Charge Danny Banks of Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) said that it expects to finish its investigation into the shooting in about a month. FDLE's role was to find out whether the officers who fired upon Mateen did so within legal bounds.

At the time, Mateen's wife was still under investigation, no arrests were made, and no other motive had been determined. Officials have not confirmed the "speculation that Mateen lashed out because he was gay or had animosity toward gay or Latino people". As paraphrased, Banks said it was unclear "why Mateen chose to attack Pulse." On August 24, the FDLE finished its investigation into Mateen's death, but did not release the records to the public as "the case will remain an open investigation until prosecutors make their decision".

The case and its findings were turned over to The Office of the State Attorney for the Ninth Judicial Circuit, which will, according to its state attorney's spokeswoman, "evaluate the [officers'] use of force and whether it was appropriate under Florida law"; it will also determine whether to file any charges against the officers involved.

In mid-July, law enforcement officials reported that the FBI—after conducting "interviews and an examination of his computer and other electronic media"—has not found any evidence that Mateen targeted Pulse because the nightclub was a venue for gays or whether the attack was motivated by homophobia. According to witnesses, he did not make any homophobic comments during the shooting. Also, nothing has been found that confirms the speculation that he was gay and used gay dating apps; however, the FBI "has found evidence that Mateen was cheating on his wife with other women".

Officials noted that "there is nothing to suggest that he attempted to cover up his tracks by deleting files". Generally, "a complete picture of what motivated Mateen remains murky and may never be known since he was killed in a shootout with police and did not leave a manifesto". The FBI has yet to conclude its investigation.

On September 29, an imam for a mosque in Kissimmee released video footage showing what appeared to be Mateen on June 8, four days before the shooting, praying for about ten minutes. The imam said Mateen was praying there with his wife and child, and had no verbal exchanges with any of the other attendants. Though the FBI was already in possession of the mosque's security recordings, the video footage was released to the public only after a series of bombings or bombing attempts in New York and New Jersey, and a mass stabbing at a Minnesota shopping mall in September 2016.


Florida Governor Rick Scott expressed support for all affected, and said the state emergency operations center was monitoring the incident. Scott declared a state of emergency for Orange County, Florida,[260] and Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer declared a state of emergency for the city. On June 24, Scott directed that 49 state flags be flown for 49 days in front of the Florida Historic Capitol in Tallahassee, with the name, age, and photo of every victim displayed beneath each flag.

The Obama administration expressed its condolences to the victims. President Barack Obama ordered that "the federal government provide any assistance necessary to pursue the investigation and support the community." In a speech, he described the shooting as an "act of hate" and an "act of terror". He also issued a proclamation on June 12 ordering United States flags upon non-private grounds and buildings around the country and abroad to be lowered to half-staff until sundown, June 16. He and Vice President Joe Biden traveled to Orlando on June 16 to lay flowers at a memorial and visit the victims' families.

Many American Muslims, including community leaders, swiftly condemned the shooting. Prayer vigils for the victims were held at mosques across the country. The Florida mosque where Mateen sometimes prayed issued a statement condemning the attack and offering condolences to the victims. The Council on American–Islamic Relations called the attack "monstrous" and offered its condolences to the victims. CAIR Florida urged Muslims to donate blood and contribute funds in support of the victims' families.

The United Nations Security Council issued a statement condemning the shooting for "targeting persons as a result of their sexual orientation". It was supported by some countries that suppress homosexual behavior and discussion, such as Egypt and Russia. Samantha Power, United States Ambassador to the UN, led a group of 17 UN ambassadors on a visit to the historic LGBT landmark Stonewall Inn to express their support for LGBT rights in response to the shooting. Countries that released their own statements condemning the shooting include Afghanistan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Iran, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait and Turkey.

Many people on social media and elsewhere, including 2016 United States presidential election candidates, members of Congress, other political figures, foreign leaders, and various celebrities, expressed their shock at the event and extended their condolences to those affected. Vigils were held around the world to mourn those who were killed in the shooting, including one held at the banks of Lake Eola Park on June 19 that attracted 50,000 people.

OnePulse Foundation, a charity organization created by a Pulse owner on July 7, filed documents with a plan to fund and build a memorial at the nightclub. The foundation is collaborating with the city of Orlando to determine the location of the memorial. The non-profit organization also plans to start a fundraising campaign to provide financial help to the 53 victims who were injured and the families of the 49 who were killed.


Orlando Gunman Was ‘Cool and Calm’ After Massacre, Police Say

By Lizette Alvarez, Richard Pérez-Peña y Christine Hauser - The New York Times

June 13, 2016

Orlando, Fla. — The gunman who went on a shooting rampage in a popular gay nightclub here shot nearly all of his victims in the first stages of the assault, then was utterly “cool and calm” while he talked by phone to law enforcement officials about further carnage, claimed allegiance to the Islamic State and praised the Boston Marathon bombers, officials said on Monday.

As officials offered new details about the worst mass shooting in American history, which left 49 people dead and 53 wounded, Chief John Mina of the Orlando Police Department said that the gunman, Omar Mateen, 29, told police negotiators — falsely, they later discovered — that he had explosives and accomplices at Pulse nightclub.

Mr. Mateen eventually made comments persuading them that “there would be an imminent loss of life,” Chief Mina said, prompting the chief to end a three-hour standoff and order the assault that killed Mr. Mateen and freed dozens of people trapped in the club.

President Obama, speaking to reporters at the White House, said it appeared the attack was “an example of the kind of homegrown extremism that all of us have been concerned about,” with a gunman who was inspired by radical material he found online.

Even as American military forces and intelligence agencies attack the Islamic State and other extremist groups, Mr. Obama said, “one of the biggest challenges we are going to have is this kind of propaganda and perversions of Islam that you see generated on the internet.”

New information also emerged Monday on Mr. Mateen, including frightening statements he made three years ago to co-workers at a local courthouse about being tied to terrorism, and that the resulting F.B.I. investigation was extensive, lasting 10 months.

“First he claimed family connections to Al Qaeda,” which, like the Islamic State, is a Sunni Muslim terrorist group, James Comey, the F.B.I. director, said Monday. “He also said he was a member of Hezbollah,” a Shiite group in conflict with Al Qaeda and the Islamic State.

“He said he hoped that law enforcement would raid his apartment and assault his wife and child so that he could martyr himself,” Mr. Comey said.

“Our investigation involved introducing confidential sources to him, recording conversations with him, following him, reviewing transactional records from his communications,” and searching government records for mentions of him, the director said. “We then interviewed him twice. He admitted making the statements his co-workers reported, but explained that he did it in anger because he thought his co-workers were discriminating against him and teasing him because he was Muslim.”

The F.B.I. closed the investigation, and Mr. Mateen continued working as a security guard for a private firm G4S.

The Florida Department of Corrections revealed on Monday that before working for G4S, Mr. Mateen worked briefly as a state prison guard. Alberto C. Moscoso, a department spokesman, said that Mr. Mateen worked at Martin Correctional Institution from October 2006 to April 2007, but did not say why he left.

The government of Saudi Arabia reported on Monday that Mr. Mateen had traveled to that country twice to make a religious pilgrimage known as the umrah. The Interior Ministry said he had visited in March 2011 for 10 days, and in March 2012 for eight days.

Investigators were hunting for any indication that Mr. Mateen might have had help in planning or carrying out the slaughter, and they continued combing through the battered, blood-spattered wreckage of Pulse for clues.

“So far, we see no indication that this was part of a plot directed from outside the United States,” Mr. Comey said.

After a night in which dozens of bodies were removed from the scene, Mayor Buddy Dyer said on Monday that 48 of the 49 dead victims had been identified, and the families of 46 of them had been notified.

Mr. Mateen had a chilling history that included talking about killing people, beating his former wife and voicing hatred of minorities, gays and Jews; most of his victims were gay, Latino, or both. His father, Seddique Mir Mateen, an Afghan immigrant, has said that he was particularly enraged by seeing a same-sex couple kiss, though the elder Mr. Mateen said in a video he posted online that he believed that it was up to God to punish gays. But on Monday, the father, teary-eyed, told reporters that he had no inkling of what was to come.

“If I knew 1 percent about what he was doing, I would have called the F.B.I.,” the elder Mr. Mateen said. “He went against my principles as a father and as a U.S. citizen.”

Chief Mina said that an off-duty officer who had been working at Pulse responded to shots fired at about 2 a.m. Sunday. Additional officers rushed to the scene, he said, and entered the nightclub, where they engaged in a gun battle with Mr. Mateen, forcing him to retreat to a bathroom where officers believed he had four to five hostages. About 15 to 20 people were in another bathroom.

“At that time we were able to save and rescue dozens and dozens of people and get them out of the club,” Chief Mina said. A SWAT team was called and took up positions in a bathroom across from where Mr. Mateen had taken cover.

From that point, “it kind of stabilized and the suspect had barricaded himself in the bathroom,” and there was no shooting during the subsequent standoff, the chief said. Mr. Mateen called 911, beginning a series of calls and conversations with the police, in which he declared allegiance to the Islamic State, the terrorist group that has taken over parts of Syria, Iraq and Libya. The attackers who killed 14 people in San Bernardino, Calif., in December also stated their allegiance to the group.

“He was cool and calm when he was making those phone calls to us,” Chief Mina said. “We had a team of crisis negotiators that did talk to the suspect, just trying to get as much information as possible, and they focused on what they could do to resolve the situation.”

But, he added, “he really wasn’t asking for a lot and we were doing most of the asking.” Asked about reports that Mr. Mateen was laughing or celebrating, the chief said there was no sign of that in the phone conversations.

“There was talk about bomb vests, about explosives, throughout,” and eventually “there were statements made about imminent loss of life.”

Law enforcement officials decided to mount an assault on the club, but an explosive placed on the wall did not penetrate completely, so officers used an armored vehicle to punch a hole about two feet off the ground, allowing hostages to flee, the chief said. Mr. Mateen also came through the breach in the wall, Chief Mina said, and was killed in a shootout with the police.

When asked during the news conference if there was a chance that people might have been struck by friendly fire or in the crossfire, Chief Mina said: “I will say that is all part of the investigation. But I will say when our SWAT officers, about eight or nine officers, opened fire, their backdrop was a concrete wall. And they were being fired upon, so that is all part of the investigation.”

At hospitals and gathering spots nearby, relatives and friends of the clubgoers who remained unaccounted for began to lose hope that their loved ones had somehow survived. And those who had already learned that their loved ones had died began to plan for funerals.

“I cannot imagine being one of the parents or knowing your loved one may be among the deceased and waiting to find out,” Mr. Dyer said. The authorities adjusted the death toll on Monday, saying that the 50 people killed included the gunman. Orlando Health, which has a network of medical facilities in the area, said 43 victims remained in the hospital, including six who would undergo operations on Monday.

Investigators continued on Monday to scour the crime scene for evidence and piece together the gunman’s motive. Thirty victim witness specialists and crime reconstruction experts were on the scene, F.B.I. officials said.

Mr. Mateen’s father, Seddique Mir Mateen, posted a video on his Facebook page early on Monday in which he expressed regret and confusion about why his son had carried out the mass killing.

“I don’t know what caused this,” said Mr. Mateen, speaking in Dari, a language spoken in Afghanistan. “I did not know and did not understand that he has anger in his heart.”

“My son, Omar Mateen, was a very good boy, an educated boy, who had a child and a wife, very respectful of his parents,” he said.

At Monday’s news conference, A. Lee Bentley, the United States attorney for Central Florida, said the investigators had collected a large amount of electronic and criminal evidence and were trying to determine whether Mr. Mateen acted alone.

“If anyone else was involved in this crime,” Mr. Bentley said, “they will be prosecuted.”

The attacker, who was born in New York, turned what had been a celebratory night of dancing to salsa and merengue music at the crowded Pulse nightclub into a panicked scene of unimaginable slaughter, the floors slicked with blood, the dead and the wounded piled atop one another. Terrified people poured onto the darkened streets of the surrounding neighborhood, some carried wounded victims to safety and police vehicles were pressed into service as makeshift ambulances to rush people to hospitals.

Joel Figueroa and his friends “were dancing by the hip-hop area when I heard shots, bam, bam, bam,” he said, adding, “Everybody was screaming and running toward the front door.”

It was the worst act of terrorism on American soil since Sept. 11, 2001, and the deadliest attack on a gay target in the nation’s history.

Gov. Rick Scott of Florida said on Monday that he had asked Mr. Obama to issue a federal emergency declaration for his state.

“Yesterday’s terror attack was an attack on our state and entire nation,” Mr. Scott said in a statement. “This morning, I have asked President Obama to declare an emergency so that the full resources of the federal government can be made available for all those impacted by this horrific massacre.”

In a letter to Mr. Obama, Mr. Scott sought two forms of federal aid: “provision of health and safety measures,” as well as “management, control and reduction of immediate threats to public health and safety.” An emergency declaration would give Florida up to $5 million in initial federal funding.

The toll is larger than the number of murders in Orlando over the previous three years. Of an estimated 320 people in the club, nearly one-third were shot. The casualties far exceeded those in the 2007 shooting at Virginia Tech, where 32 people were killed, and the 2012 shooting at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn., where 26 people died.


Orlando shooter Omar Mateen was gay, former classmate says

Lawrence Mower - Palm Beach Post

June 14, 2016

The FBI is investigating reports that Orlando nightclub shooter Omar Mateen used gay dating apps and regularly visited Pulse before he shot more than 100 people inside, killing 49.

At least five people have come forward saying they saw Mateen at gay clubs, painting a complicated portrait of the American-born Muslim whom the FBI believes was radicalized by terrorist groups.

One former classmate of Omar Mateen’s 2006 police academy class told The Palm Beach Post that he believed Mateen was gay, saying Mateen once tried to pick him up at a bar.

The classmate said that he, Mateen and other classmates would hang out, sometimes going to gay nightclubs, after classes at Indian River Community College police academy. One night, he said Mateen asked him if he was gay. He said no, because he wasn’t telling people he was gay at the time.

“We went to a few gay bars with him, and I was not out at the time, so I declined his offer,” said the former classmate, who asked that his name not be used.

“He said, ‘Well if you were gay, you would be my type.’ I said OK and just went on with the night,” he said. “It was not anything too crazy, but I take that as a pick-up line.”

He believed Mateen was gay, but not open about it. Mateen was awkward, and for a while the classmate and the rest in the group of friends felt sorry for him.

“He just wanted to fit in and no one liked him,” he said. “He was always socially awkward.”

Other news outlets talked to people who said they saw Mateen at Pulse years before Sunday’s massacre.

Jim Van Horn, 71, told The Associated Press that Mateen was a regular at the club. “He was trying to pick up people. Men,” he said.

While acknowledging he didn’t know Mateen well, Van Horn said: “I think it’s possible that he was trying to deal with his inner demons, of trying to get rid of his anger of homosexuality.”

At least four regular customers of Pulse, the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender nightclub where the massacre took place, told the Orlando Sentinel on Monday that they believed they had seen Mateen there before.

Drinking in the corner

“Sometimes he would go over in the corner and sit and drink by himself, and other times he would get so drunk he was loud and belligerent,” said Ty Smith, who also uses the name Aries.

He saw Mateen at the club at least a dozen times, he told the Sentinel. “We didn’t really talk to him a lot, but I remember him saying things about his dad at times,” Smith said. “He told us he had a wife and child.”

His first wife, who left after he became abusive to her, told the New York Times that Mateen might have been gay, but chose to hide it because of anger or shame. She also said that he frequented nightclubs before their relationship, but didn’t say they were gay clubs.

The Los Angeles Times reported that Mateen attended the Pulse nightclub possibly as many as a dozen times before the rampage. Kevin West said he had messaged Mateen back and forth over a year’s time on the gay dating app Jack’d but never met him until he saw Mateen crossing the street about 1 a.m. Sunday.

“He walked directly past me. I said, ‘Hey,’ and he turned and said, ‘Hey,’” and nodded his head, West said. “I could tell by the eyes.”

The Canadian Press reported Monday that Mateen had been seen there over three years.

Chris Callen recalled the eventual killer being escorted drunk from the Pulse bar on multiple occasions, including one incident where he pointed a knife at a friend. Said Callen, who performs under the name Kristina McLaughlin, “He’s been going to this bar for at least three years.”

Mateen’s father emphatically told The Post Monday that his son was not gay.

“If he was gay, why would he do something like this?” Seddique Mateen asked.

Mateen’s motives for the attack have been questioned since it happened. Although FBI director James Comey said the Bureau was “highly confident” Mateen had been radicalized, how he was radicalized, and by whom, has not yet been revealed.

Even the allegiances he declared during his 911 calls the morning of the attack were in conflict. Comey said he first pledged loyalty to the head of the Islamic State. In a later call, he stated his solidarity with the Vero Beach man who traveled to Syria and become a suicide bomber in 2014.

But that man, Moner Mohammad Abusalha, had joined al Nusra Front, which is an enemy of the Islamic State.

According to the former classmate, he, Mateen and a few other friends went to four gay clubs in the Treasure Coast and West Palm Beach in 2006: Kashmir Night Club in West Palm Beach, Byrd Cage in Port St. Lucie, Cold Keg in Melbourne and Rebar in Port St. Lucie.

All but Cold Keg have since closed, and the owner there said he hadn’t seen Mateen.

Neither had one of the former owners of Kashmir, who said none of his former employees have reached out to him, either.

Rebar closed in February and became Tattle Tails. The owner of Tattle Tails, Johnscott Willett, said Monday that he did not recognize Mateen. Willett said he worked for nine years at Rebar and didn’t recognize him from his time there, either.

He said St. Lucie County Sheriff’s deputies visited the club on Sunday and asked if he recognized Mateen.

Mateen graduated from Indian River State College, worked briefly as a state prison guard before being fired, then spent nine years working as a security guard for G4S, the global security company.

His troubles with one of his co-workers, Daniel Gilroy, played a role in Gilroy’s leaving his security guard job with G4S.

Although Mateen brought his prayer rug with him to work as a security guard at PGA Village in Port St. Lucie, and regularly prayed, “He had very low regard for women,” said Gilroy, repeatedly making “derogatory remarks.”

But, said Gilroy, Mateen was also constantly hitting on women driving in and out of the gated community, where the two men handled guard.

Fed up with Mateen’s attacks on women, gays and African Americans, as well as his outbursts — “You could hear him yelling and cursing” in the guardhouse — Gilroy said he finally told Mateen, “I do not share your views. You come in at 3, I leave at 3. Let’s just keep it at that.”

And that, said Gilroy, is when Mateen “went boiled rabbit crazy on me.”

Mateen began texting Gilroy repeatedly, he said, writing such things as, “‘Why aren’t you contacting me?’ ‘You are betraying me’.”

Based on the relentless messaging, Gilroy said his girlfriend became suspicious the two men were in a romantic relationship, Mateen being the jilted lover. “I actually had to explain to my girlfriend that I was not having an affair with a man.”

When he showed her all of the text messages, said Gilroy, “She burst into tears because he was so scary.

Gilroy quit.


Investigative Update Regarding Pulse Nightclub Shooting

FBI Tampa

June 20, 2016

ORLANDO—In order to provide an update on the progress of the investigation into the Pulse nightclub shooting, the FBI is releasing an excerpt from the timeline of events inside the Pulse nightclub during the early morning hours of Sunday, June 12, 2016. Out of respect for the victims of this horrific tragedy, law enforcement will not be releasing audio of the shooter’s 911 calls at this time, nor will law enforcement be releasing audio or transcripts of the calls made by victims at the Pulse nightclub during the incident.

The following is based on Orlando Police Department (OPD) radio communication (times are approximate):

¦2:02 a.m.: OPD call transmitted multiple shots fired at Pulse nightclub.
¦2:04 a.m.: Additional OPD officers arrived on scene.
¦2:08 a.m.: Officers from various law enforcement agencies made entrance to Pulse and engaged the shooter.
¦2:18 a.m.: OPD SWAT (Special Weapons and Tactics) initiated a full call-out.
¦2:35 a.m.: Shooter contacted a 911 operator from inside Pulse. The call lasted approximately 50 seconds, the details of which are set out below:

Orlando Police Dispatcher (OD)
Omar Mateen (OM)

OD: Emergency 911, this is being recorded.
OM: In the name of God the Merciful, the beneficent [Arabic]
OD: What?
OM: Praise be to God, and prayers as well as peace be upon the prophet of God [Arabic]. I wanna let you know, I’m in Orlando and I did the shootings.
OD: What’s your name?
OM: My name is I pledge of allegiance to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi of the Islamic State.
OD: Ok, What’s your name?
OM: I pledge allegiance to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi may God protect him [Arabic], on behalf of the Islamic State.
OD: Alright, where are you at?
OM: In Orlando.
OD: Where in Orlando?
[End of call.]

(Shortly thereafter, the shooter engaged in three conversations with OPD’s Crisis Negotiation Team.)
¦2:48 a.m.: First crisis negotiation call occurred lasting approximately nine minutes.
¦3:03 a.m.: Second crisis negotiation call occurred lasting approximately 16 minutes.
¦3:24 a.m.: Third crisis negotiation call occurred lasting approximately three minutes.

In these calls, the shooter, who identified himself as an Islamic soldier, told the crisis negotiator that he was the person who pledged his allegiance to [omitted], and told the negotiator to tell America to stop bombing Syria and Iraq and that is why he was “out here right now.” When the crisis negotiator asked the shooter what he had done, the shooter stated, “No, you already know what I did.” The shooter continued, stating, “There is some vehicle outside that has some bombs, just to let you know. You people are gonna get it, and I’m gonna ignite it if they try to do anything stupid.” Later in the call with the crisis negotiator, the shooter stated that he had a vest, and further described it as the kind they “used in France.” The shooter later stated, “In the next few days, you’re going to see more of this type of action going on.” The shooter hung up and multiple attempts to get in touch with him were unsuccessful.

¦4:21 a.m.: OPD pulled an air conditioning unit out of a Pulse dressing room window for victims to evacuate.

(While the FBI will not be releasing transcripts of OPD communication with victims, significant information obtained from those victims allowed OPD to gain knowledge of the situation inside Pulse.)
¦4:29 a.m.: As victims were being rescued, they told OPD the shooter said he was going to put four vests with bombs on victims within 15 minutes.

(An immediate search of the shooter’s vehicle on scene and inside Pulse ultimately revealed no vest or improvised explosive device.)
¦5:02 a.m.: OPD SWAT and OCSO Hazardous Device Team began to breach wall with explosive charge and armored vehicle to make entry.
¦5:14 a.m.: OPD radio communication stated that shots were fired.
¦5:15 a.m.: OPD radio communication stated that OPD engaged the suspect and the suspect was reported down.

Based on OPD radio communications, there were no reports of shots being fired inside Pulse between the initial exchange of gunfire between responding officers and shooter, and the time of the final breach. During this time, the shooter communicated with an OPD 911 operator and an OPD crisis negotiator, and OPD radio communications reported that victims were being rescued.

The FBI urges the public to provide information about the shooter and any contact they may have had with him. Since the release of the FBI’s Seeking Information poster, the FBI has received thousands of tips. The FBI will investigate every tip.



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