Police report on Orlando attack shows timeline of terror

Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) officials walk through the parking lot of the Pulse gay night club, the site of a mass shooting days earlier, in Orlando, Florida, U.S., June 15, 2016.  © Adrees Latif
Orlando, Florida police have released an incident report about the June 12 attack at a gay nightclub, showing the minute-by-minute narrative of the three-hour horror as it unfolded.

Just after 2am on June 12, a man opened fire inside Pulse, a popular gay club on Orange Avenue in Orlando. Police succeeded in killing the attacker three hours later – by then, he had killed 49 people and wounded 53 others. The shooter was later identified as Omar Mateen, who had pledged allegiance to Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) in a call to the police.

Details of Mateen’s 911 call are not included in the incident report, dated June 17 and released Tuesday. The first 12 pages of the 125-page document deal with the timeline of events. The rest is a list of names and unit dispositions, with only a few of the names redacted. The document shows the attack was categorized as “Type 73: Unknown Trouble” and given the incident number 2016-00242039.

“Shots fired… Shots still being fired… Possible gunshots… Still shooting,” the first report of trouble came at 2:02:57am from a unit identified as "East."

“Desk has a call. Male calling, advises shooting inside the club,” a supervisor (SUPV) responds a minute later.

“Multiple down, subject inside shooting,” East says at 2:04. Another unit, identified as “Desk2,” says they hear shooting in the background of the incoming call, with the caller whispering and confirming they did not see the shooter.

Caller “has no idea who the shooter is,” the supervisor notes.

Desk7 chimes in at 2:08: “Someone screaming help… someone is scraming [sic] I’m shot… multiple people screaming… hearing moaning.”

“Desk has open line, hearing 20-30 gunshots, heard female screaming,” Desk5 reports at 2:09.

“My caller is no longer responding, just an open line with moaning,” Desk7 says a minute later.

There then seems to be a short pause in the gunfire as the police try to get the suspect’s description and location.

“He is wearing a gray shirt, brown pants,” reports Desk8 at 2:14.

East says the shooter is “trapped in bathroom” at 2:15, adding “possibly two shooters” at 2:17, followed by “shots fired.”

At 2:40, Desk2 is advising all units that “Third party with shooter saying he pledges to the Islamic State.”

“Shooter saying possible explosives in the parking lot,” East reports at 2:51. “Subject is saying that he is a terrorist and has several bombs strapped to him in the downstairs female restroom,” Desk2 reports at 2:54.

READ MORE: Mass shooting at Orlando gay nightclub

About half an hour later, at 3:20, there is an erroneous report of the shooter actually being at the Orlando Regional Medical Center (ORMC), where many of the victims were brought for treatment. ORMC is put on lockdown.

By 3:26, however, a call goes out from East: “No shots fired at ORMC.”

At 3:34, a caller from Pulse reports he is “staying put now, hearing screaming.”

“Subject is in male restroom and is now reloading his guns,” Desk2 reports at 4:09, adding “and is about to start shooting again” at 4:13.

At 5:01, police are tallying up the shooting victims, noting there were 40 in total at ORMC, of which 20 were transported by the Orlando Fire Department. Another two are at Florida South.  

The SWAT team breaches the club at 5:02. Callers report explosions, with Desk1 confirming they can be heard in the background.

Finally, East reports at 5:15: “Subject down.”

The timeline’s release comes a week after the Department of Justice released transcripts of Mateen’s 911 calls, which redacted the shooter’s pledge of allegiance to Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) and all religious references. After public outcry, the DOJ backtracked and made the full transcript public.