The gunman who slaughtered 49 people at a gay nightclub in Florida said he had a car rigged with bombs outside and threatened to strap hostages into explosive vests, according to partial transcripts of 911 calls he made released on Monday.
Omar Mateen, 29, paused during a three-hour siege to telephone emergency dispatchers three times and to post internet messages from inside the Pulse nightclub professing his support for Islamist militant groups.
City officials have refused to provide hundreds of 911 calls from the Orlando nightclub massacre to The Associated Press and a coalition of news organizations, citing confidentiality under Florida law and arguing that an ongoing investigation kept the tapes secret.
The AP and others requested the 911 tapes and related data, a common practice after such major events. The recordings could offer insight into how law enforcement responded to the worst shooting in modern U.S. history.
Gunman Omar Mateen opened fire at the Pulse nightclub early June 12. Forty-nine victims were killed; Mateen also died. The FBI on Monday released a partial, redacted transcript of three 911 calls.
At a news conference, Ron Hopper of the FBI said officials are ”not going to propagate violent rhetoric” by giving full transcripts with no redactions.
House Speaker Paul Ryan is criticizing the FBI for releasing a partial transcript of Orlando gunman Omar Mateen’s conversation with a 911 dispatcher, calling it ”preposterous.”
The Wisconsin Republican called on the Obama administration to release the full, transcript with no redactions ”so the public is clear-eyed about who did this, and why.”
Ryan said in a statement Monday: ”We know the shooter was a radical Islamist extremist inspired by ISIS. We also know he intentionally targeted the LGBT community.”
Police say that during a three-hour period after officers arrived on the scene of the Orlando nightclub shooting, no shots were fired.
Officials spoke Monday morning at a news conference about the June 12 massacre that left 49 victims dead. Orlando police Chief John Mina said that officers saved many lives when they arrived within minutes, shortly after gunman Omar Mateen began shooting about 2 a.m.
Mina says Mateen exchanged shots with police who first arrived at the scene, then retreated inside and barricaded himself in a bathroom, where witnesses have described club-goers being shot.
Mina says no other shots were fired until SWAT burst in to rescue hostages around 5:15 a.m.
The standoff ended with Mateen also dead.
Mina says, ”There was no shooting for that three-hour period.”
Orlando’s police chief says officers were on the scene of the massacre at a gay nightclub within minutes and saved many lives.
Chief John Mina said at a Monday news conference that the timeline clearly shows officers’ arrival. He says officers’ initial entry caused gunman Omar Mateen to stop shooting. Mina also emphasized that the incident started as an active shooter situation.
Mina said of Mateen: ”There was never a concern that he was going to get away. We were going to take him into custody.”
Mina also stressed that the investigation is continuing.
He says officials have conducted over 500 interviews and have more than 600 pieces of evidence from the crime scene at club Pulse. He says they’re nearly done processing the scene.
Mina also noted that the department is now also concentrating on providing security at vigils and other events.
The FBI says that the Orlando nightclub shooter was not directed by a foreign terror group, but was radicalized domestically.
At a news conference Monday morning, Ron Hopper of the FBI also said that in 911 calls, shooter Omar Mateen described his actions to an operator in a ”chilling, calm and deliberate manner.”
Hopper says that the investigation is continuing. Transcripts released Monday show that Mateen told a crisis negotiator that the U.S. needed to stop bombing Iraq and Syria.
Hopper say Mateen identified himself as an Islamic solider who pledged allegiance to a group bent on killing Americans.
Officials said at the news conference that the investigation into the June 12 shooting that left 49 victims dead is continuing.
Newly released transcripts show Orlando gunman Omar Mateen spoke in Arabic to a 911 dispatcher and told a crisis negotiator that the U.S. needed to stop bombing Iraq and Syria.
The FBI released partial transcripts Monday of three 911 calls as it prepared to give additional details about its investigation into the massacre at the Pulse nightclub, which left 49 victims dead. Mateen also died.
Mateen spoke three times with an emergency dispatcher once the massacre was underway.
The FBI says Mateen identified himself as an Islamic soldier. He also claimed to be equipped with bombs in a vehicle outside, though authorities say they’ve found no evidence of explosives.
He said to a 911 operator, ”I’m in Orlando and I did the shootings.”
The communications, along with Facebook posts and searches made before and during the shooting, add to the public understanding of the final hours of Mateen’s life.
Orlando officials say an assistance center set up to help the survivors and families of victims from the Pulse nightclub shooting has served more than 600 individuals.
City officials say that starting Monday an agency will be at the assistance center to help survivors and victims’ family members apply for unemployment benefits from the state.
That’s in addition to almost three dozen agencies set up at the Camping World Stadium to help survivors and families with short- and long-term needs.
A gunman fatally shot 49 patrons and injured another 53 individuals more than a week ago at the Orlando gay nightclub.
The assistance center is open this week through Wednesday.
The FBI is holding a late morning news briefing to provide an update on the massacre at the gay nightclub Pulse in Orlando.
An FBI spokesman says agents on Monday will offer further details about the massacre that killed 49 people and wounded another 53 people, making it the worst mass shooting in modern U.S. history.
The details include the release of a partial transcript of communications between gunman Omar Mateen and Orlando police negotiators in the early morning hours of June 12.
The briefing is taking place just a few blocks from the nightclub.
Hospital officials say four people remain in critical condition more than a week after they were wounded in the attack at an Orlando nightclub.
Orlando Regional Medical Center says 18 victims from the Pulse nightclub shooting are still at the hospital and three more surgeries are scheduled for Monday. The other 14 patients are listed in stable condition.
Since the shooting, surgeons have performed 54 surgeries on the victims. The hospital treated 44 people after the June 12 shooting at the gay nightclub in Orlando. Nine patients died and 17 have been released.
The attack left 50 people dead, including the shooter, and is the worst mass shooting in modern U.S. history.
Federal investigators promised to provide more insight as to what was happening inside the Pulse nightclub after a gunman started a deadly assault that was the worst mass shooting in modern U.S. history.
U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch says the FBI is releasing Monday a printed, partial transcript of the conversations between the gunman within the Pulse gay nightclub and Orlando police negotiators.
The release is coming a day after tens of thousands of people held a candlelight vigil in the heart of downtown Orlando for the 49 victims who died in the massacre. The victims also were remembered at church services and at makeshift memorials throughout Orlando.
Armed with a semi-automatic weapon, Omar Mateen went on a bloody rampage at the club June 12 that left 49 people dead and 53 others hurt. Mateen died in a hail of police gunfire.