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"I Did the Shooting": Pulse Gunman's 911 Calls Released

"I Did the Shooting": Pulse Gunman's 911 Calls Released


In 911 calls, 29-year-old Omar Mateen claimed that the attack was retribution for airstrikes in the Middle East.

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A man can be heard speaking in Arabic, and then his voice -- this time in English -- rings over the receiver. "I want to let you know, I'm in Orlando, and I did the shooting," the man claims.

This call is one of the 911 recordings released on Monday that depict the tense, three-hour standoff between Pulse shooter Omar Mateen and negotiators during the June 12 attack on the Florida gay bar. Forty nine people were killed and at least 53 injured after Mateen opened fire on the popular nightclub at 2 a.m. -- during Pulse's monthly Latin night.

It's also the first time a recording of his voice has been made public since the tragedy.

The conversation between Mateen and dispatchers sheds light on the shooter's motives, which have been unclear. Although the 29-year-old pledged allegiance to ISIS during a 911 call, Mateen didn't seem to know the difference between the Islamic State, Hezbollah, and al-Qaeda.

"Tell me what's going on right now, Omar," the negotiator pleads.

"The airstrikes need to stop," Mateen said. The shooter referenced the death of ISIS executioner Abu Wahib, who was killed during a U.S. airstrike in May. "They're killing my people."

"I've heard that and I want you to come outside and tell us that yourself so the message rings true from you," the dispatcher responds, attempting to diffuse the situation. "Not me passing along your message. I need you to come outside with no weapons."

Stating that the attack is "in the name of the Islamic State," Mateen claims that his actions are further motivated by the "innocent children are being killed in Iraq, Syria, and Afghanistan."

"Now you feel how it is," he says.

Referring to the Boston Marathon bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev as his "homeboy," Mateen falsely claims that there are explosives planted in the area, ones that "could take out a whole block" if detonated.

"Your people are going to get it and I'm going to ignite it if they try to do anything stupid," Mateen says.

He adds that there's little negotiators can do to stop him from taking more lives. "If you bring the bomb dog, they are not going to smell shit," Mateen claims. "You can't smell it. Bring your little American bomb dog, they are fucking outdated anyway."

The recording also logs the frustration that negotiators felt in attempting to figure out if Mateen was a lone wolf or it was a coordinated attack.

"I need you to talk to me," the dispatcher says following a period of silence. "This is a serious matter and I want to take this seriously and I want to listen to what you have to say. But I can't do that if this is a one-sided conversation."

Mateen hung up several times.

A Florida judge is currently weighing the release of more tapes following a Monday hearing. Of the 600 calls made to 911 agencies on the night of the shooting, 232 have yet to be released to the public, many of which include the sounds of people being murdered. The city has argued that because of their sensitive nature, they should be exempt from public records laws.

Media outlets, including the Associated Press, have said release of the recordings is necessary to ensure that the police and emergency response to the tragedy was timely and appropriate.

Wilhemina Justice, whose 30-year-old brother, Eddie, died in the shooting, was one of the family members who spoke out against the release, arguing that it would be an invasion of privacy, as well as further exacerbating the pain survivors already feel.

"I would relive it every day," she said. "I know what happened. I don't need to hear. I know."

The consensus among the family members who gathered Monday, none of whom felt that the recordings should be public, was that providing transcripts would be a fair compromise.

"It would be extremely difficult for family and friends to listen to these calls," argued Jessica Silva, whose brother Juan was killed in the shooting. "Just listening to one of the calls, we can recognize voices. Just listening to them screaming, how are we going to feel?"

Click below to watch a video containing audio of the gunman's calls to 911. Or click here to read a transcript without any audio.

Warning: hearing or reading the words of the gunman may be emotionally triggering, and the recording contains graphic language that may not be suitable for work or children.

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"I Did the Shooting": Pulse Gunman's 911 Calls Released

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