Written By Admin
Monday, June 13, 2016
Officials addressed the community one day after the worst shooting in US history
Orlando police on Monday described how law enforcement had taken down Omar Mateen, the shooter who killed 49 people and wounded 53 at the Pulse nightclub early Sunday morning.
Chief John Mina said a uniformed off-duty officer at the club at the time of the shooting engaged in a shoot-out with Mateen up until more officers arrived. Additional police officers arrived and also began shooting at the suspect, and “forced him to stop shooting and retreat to the bathroom where he had some hostages.”
At the time, police believed further loss of life was imminent. While the gunman was in the bathroom at Pulse, he made a call to 911. During that call he is believed to have pledged allegiance to ISIS. Mina said Mateen had not seemed angry or upset. “Based on the calls he was cool and calm,” he said. “He really wasn’t asking for a lot. We were doing most of the asking.”
The police attempted to breach the wall of the nightclub with an explosive device at around 5am, but when that didn’t work they used an armored vehicle. When police were able to penetrate the wall, the police chief said “dozens and dozens” of people exited, including the gunman.
The police and the gunmen then engaged in another gun battle, during which Mateen was killed. About four or five people are believed to have been in the bathroom with the shooter, and between 15 and 20 people were in an adjacent bathroom. It’s not clear how many survived, though police said most of the casualties came in the opening moments of the shooting.
ATF agents said Monday there were two weapons recovered on the scene and both weapons traced to the last known purchaser, who is the shooter. A third weapon was found in his car, but officers are working to trace the last known purchaser of that weapon as well. There was no other shooter, they said. Mateen told police he had explosives, but none were found.
Officers on Monday said the operation “saved many many lives” in the nightclub. The officers also said they do not believe anyone connected to the shooter poses imminent danger to the public. “We have no reason to believe that anyone connected to this crime is placing the public in imminent danger,” the FBI’s Ron Hopper said.
The police revised down the toll of victims from 50 to 49, explaining that the shooter had originally been counted among the victims. So far, 48 have been identified and 24 of the next of kin have been notified. As the next of kin are being notified, the city is putting names on a city website.
Florida Gov. Rick Scott has asked President Obama to declare an emergency in his state in the wake of the worst mass shooting in American history. The governor is hoping resources the federal government could provide under an emergency declaration would aide in the state’s ongoing recovery. President Obama and Vice President Biden will also meet with officials to discuss the ongoing situation in Orlando on Monday. The FBI Director, the Secretary of Homeland Security, the Deputy Attorney General and the National Counterterrorism Center director will all attend.
The governor says he has been consistently communication with federal, state, and local law enforcement, having both spoken with hospitals and connected with the families of victims. “Our state is in mourning, but the Orlando community is strong,” Gov. Scott said in a press release. “We are all coming together and we will get through this together.”
Officials said Monday that the shooting at the Pulse nightclub was the “most horrific” event in the city’s history, but Mayor Buddy Dyer said he’d never been prouder of the city. “We will not be defined by the act of the cowardly hater,” Mayor Dyer said. “We will be defined by how we respond.”
More information about the shooter is being released as more details of the case are ironed out. In a video posted on Facebook, Mateen’s father Seddique Mir Mateen apologized for his son’s actions saying he hates both terrorism and ISIS.
“I always [was] telling him that … the terrorists and terrorism are the enemy of the whole humanity,” Sediqque Mir said. “I don’t know what has caused him to do this,” his father added. “I was not aware that he had hatred.” (source)