911 Logs Reveal Horror in Orlando Club: 'My Caller is No Longer Responding, Just... Moaning'
Officials have released logs from the Orlando massacre detailing the carnage that saw 49 people shot dead at gay nightclub Pulse.
The logs consist of notes taken by 911 dispatchers and accounts of what police radioed in during the early hours of June 12 during the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history.
“Shots fired,” the narrative begins at 2:02 a.m.
Calls would continue to flood the 911 system for more than three hours, as victims pleaded for help and relayed the horror unfolding around them.
“Caller is whispering. She is in the bathroom. Thinks they’re out of bullets.”
“Someone screaming help.”
Dispatchers relayed what they heard as callers tried to hide in the club’s bathrooms, kitchen, office and attic.
“Desk hearing gunshots. Heard at least three. Hearing more shots. Hearing gun shots closer. Multiple people screaming. Someone is scraming(sic) I’m shot. Multiple people screaming.”
“Dsk(sic) has open line hearing 20-30 gunshots.”
“My caller is no longer responding, just an open line with moaning.”
“(Caller) is shot in the stomach.”
“(Caller) is shot in the leg and knee.”
Amid the chaos, victims tried to relay details about gunman Omar Mateen as he worked his way through the crowded club.
“Subj has chinstrap facial hair.”
“Long gun shell casings.”
A call came in to 911 at 2:40 a.m. that noted the shooter was in the women’s restroom “saying he pledges to the Islamic State.”
He claimed to have “possible explosives in the parking lot” at 2:51 a.m., the log shows.
“Subj (advises) that he is a terrorist,” the log noted at 2:52 a.m.
Multiple callers reported that the shooter said he was a terrorist and that he had bombs strapped to him, but authorities later said that Mateen had no explosives.
Victims trapped inside continued to provide a grim narrative of the horror as Mateen continued to fire at defenseless clubgoers.
“Subj is in male restroom … and is now reloading his guns.”
“Vic is … (with two gunshot wounds) losing a lot of blood from legs and ribs.”
He also led victims to believe they would be blown up, as the log noted at 4:29 a.m.: “Susp going to attach 4 vests to people in the club in 15 mins.”
By then people began to evacuate the club, as some escaped a dressing room window by pushing an air conditioner out. Law enforcement operations to enter the club were underway by 5 a.m.
“SWAT breached,” the log said at 5:02 a.m.
“(Caller) heard 4 explosions, desk hears them in background.”
“Shots fired north bathroom.”
“Subj down,” the log updated at 5:15 a.m.
“Bad guy down strapped,” it said two minutes later, confirming the shooting was over.
The harrowing account of the night shown in the log is one of the public records released by city officials released Tuesday that relate to shooting. Other documents released include text messages to and from the Orlando police chief, fire chief and fire marshal, police and fire dispatch records, permitting records as well as a history of code enforcement inspections at the club.
Documents revealed that one of the nightclub’s six exits had been blocked in the weeks before the mass shooting.
Orlando Fire Chief Roderick Williams and Fire Marshal Tammy Hughes discussed in text messages the morning of the shooting that one or two of the exits was blocked by a soda machine, the Orlando Sentinel first reported.
Writing that someone “will have to answer some tough questions” about the alleged violation, Hughes said she saw photos of a machine blocking an exit.
It is unclear whether the door was still blocked the night of the shooting. The club’s six exits were enough to accommodate twice its occupant load of 299, the texts said.
A May 21 “company officer exit check” revealed an exit door or hardware was inoperable, according to one of the many public records released by the city. It was not clear which door was inoperable.
“Doors are inoperable,” Lt. Brian Hardiman wrote in the comments section of the report.
On June 5, the Fire Department assigned a follow-up exit check for July 1.
After reviewing the timeline for inspection of the building, Hughes wrote in an email that “this was within our normal followup(sic) process” and that she had “NO concerns about our practice at this time.”
An attorney representing Pulse said in a statement: "On May 21, 2016, the Orlando Fire Department inspected the club and found that an exit sign light bulb needed to be replaced and that a fire extinguisher needed to be hung on the wall, both of which items were corrected. The lack of specificity and clarity in the fire department’s report is regretful.
"As for the allegation that a public exit door was blocked, that is untrue. The club has six exit doors, which exceeds the applicable code requirements. None of those six exit doors were blocked. There is a door to the outside that is not used by anyone, whether they be employees or patrons. That door is in a room behind the bar where patrons are not allowed. That door is not an exit door."
The release of documents comes the same day as dozens of media outlets are set to appear in court to argue for the public release of audio of 911 calls and conversations between Mateen and crisis negotiators.
The preliminary hearing will lay out the ground rules for another hearing set to take place on Thursday.