FBI investigators released on Monday a partial transcript of phone conversations that 911 call takers and crisis negotiators had with gunman who stormed Pulse nightclub while he remained holed up inside an the Orlando club. A dispatcher received the first call from the gunman about 30 minutes into the mass shooting.
Later calls with crisis negotiators detail Omar Mateen’s claims that he was planning to carry out even more carnage — the lone gunman told officials that cars outside the nightclub had explosives in them and that he was wearing a vest like the kind they “used in France,” making reference to explosive vests used in the Paris terror attacks. During the initial 911 call, which lasted just 50 seconds, Mateen almost immediately said he was behind the shootings.
“Praise be to God, and prayers as well as peace be upon the prophet of God [in Arabic]. I let you know, I’m in Orlando, and I did the shootings,” read a transcript provided by the FBI.
Mateen made multiple pledges of allegiance to various groups, whose names were blocked out in the released transcripts. However investigators have said Mateen during the call had aligned himself with a host of terrorist groups, ranging from the Islamic State to al Nusra Front.
Mateen killed 49 people and injured 53 others when he stormed the gay nightclub Pulse early June 12. The gunman was killed in a shootout with police after a hourslong standoff during which he pledged allegiance to the Islamic State terrorist group, claimed to have accomplices and threatened to detonate explosive devices.
Less than 10 minutes after ending the 911 call, hostage negotiators were on the phone with Mateen. During the calls, the gunman told the hostage negotiator that he wanted Americans to stop bombing Syria and Iraq and that is was why he was “out here right now.”
He later claimed that the areas outside the nightclub were rigged with explosives, none of which investigators ever found at the scene.
“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,” Mateen told the negotiator, according to the transcript. “In the next few days, you’re going to see more of this type of action going on.”