“You already know what I did.”
Under pressure from Republican House Leader Paul Ryan, news organizations, and other public officials, the FBI has released the complete transcript of the the 911 calls Omar Mateen made from Pulse nightclub on June 12, the night he gunned down 49 people and wounded 53 more. The attack was the deadliest mass shooting in modern US history.
“I let you know, I’m in Orlando and I did the shootings,” Mateen told the 911 dispatcher. When asked what his name was, Mateen answered, “My name is, I pledge of allegiance to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi of the Islamic State.”
The FBI had been reluctant to release the full transcript, saying they didn’t want to give a platform to a terrorist organization. The partial transcript they originally released did not mention the Islamic State, otherwise known as ISIS.
But after public outcry, they reversed their position, saying that since “much of this information had been previously reported, we have re-issued the complete transcript to include these references in order to provide the highest level of transparency possible under the circumstances.”
The FBI transcript helps clarify the timeline of the night’s events. At 2:02am, police received the first phone call from inside Pulse, a popular gay club that was celebrating its weekly ‘Latin Night’. Officers were on the scene just two minutes after that initial contact. By 2:08am they had “engaged the shooter.” At 2:35am, Mateen made a 911 from the Pulse bathroom, where he had barricaded himself and taken several hostages.
Crisis negotiators spoke to Mateen at 2:48am, 3:03am, and 3:24am, for a total of 28 minutes. During those calls, Mateen said he was an Islamic soldier, and that he wanted America to stop bombing Syria and Iraq. According to the FBI documents, “When the crisis negotiator asked the shooter what he had done, the shooter stated, “No, you already know what I did.”
After the hours-long standoff, police finally blew a hole in the club’s wall and entered with an armored vehicle. By 5:15pm, Mateen was dead.
In another development, ABC News is reporting that Mateen spent almost $9,000 on jewelry on June 6, less than a week before the shooting.
Mateen’s former wife, Sitora Yusufiy, told CNN that she believed he suffered from untreated bipolar disorder. Manic episodes, including spending sprees, are one way that bipolar disorder often manifests.
The Kay Jewelers, where Mateen allegedly bought the jewelry – and which will not confirm the purchase – is located near the Lotus Gun Shop in Jensen Beach, where he was turned away when he tried to buy body armor and bulk ammunition a few weeks earlier.
Robbie Abell, the owner of the Lotus Gun Shop, told the Wall Street Journal that his shop exercized their right to decline to sell to anyone. “If something is suspicious, it’s our discretion. We are the gatekeeper.”
In the week leading up to the massacre, Mateen was able to purchase a pistol, along with a .223 SIG Sauer semiautomatic rifle, at another gun shop.
Images from MySpace, via AP.