Orlando Police chief John Mina detailed his officers’ response to the tragic terror attack at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida during a press conference on Monday morning.
“We had an extra duty, off duty officer working for Pulse nightclub in full police uniform. At about 2 o’clock he responded to shots fired. He did engage in the gun battle with the suspect somewhere near one of the entrances,” Mina said. “Shortly after that, additional offers responded.”
Mina says the additional officers “made entry while the suspect was shooting and engaged in another gun battle.”
Omar Saddiqui Mateen, who has been identified as the killer in the worst mass shooting in United States history, called 911 during the attack and pledged allegiance to the leader of ISIS. At last count, the siege left 49 dead and 53 injured.
Authorities told ABC News that Mateen had been “on the radar” of U.S. terrorism agencies but was not the subject of any specific investigation.
After determining that hostages held by Mateen were at immediate risk of death, Mina says he authorized the use of explosives to open a wall in the bathroom where the gunman was holed up.
“Further loss of life was imminent. I made the decision to commence the rescue operation and do the explosive breach,” Mina said. “[Mateen] was ultimately killed.”
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