The FBI released partial transcripts Monday of three 911 calls, providing new information on the tragedy that killed 49 people during the deadliest mass shooting in American history at Pulse nightclub in Orlando.
The Associated Press reported that the FBI says Orlando gunman Omar Mateen identified himself as an Islamic soldier. Newly-released transcripts reveal that he spoke in Arabic to a 911 dispatcher and told a crisis negotiator that the U.S. needed to stop bombing Iraq and Syria.
Mateen spoke three times with an emergency dispatcher once the massacre was underway and claimed to be equipped with bombs in a vehicle outside, though authorities say they’ve found no evidence of explosives.
He said to a 911 operator, “I’m in Orlando and I did the shootings.”
Police say that during the three-hour period after officers arrived on the scene of the Orlando nightclub shooting, no shots were fired. At a news conference Monday morning, Ron Hopper of the FBI also said that in 911 calls, Mateen described his actions to an operator in a “chilling, calm and deliberate manner.”
The FBI also reveals that Mateen was not directed by a foreign terror group, but was radicalized domestically.
Orlando’s police chief John Mina said officers were on the scene of the massacre at the gay nightclub within minutes and saved many lives. He says officers’ initial entry caused Mateen to stop shooting. Mina also emphasized that the incident started as an active shooter situation.
“There was never a concern that he was going to get away … We were going to take him into custody,” he stressed.
Mina also said that officials have conducted over 500 interviews and have more than 600 pieces of evidence from the crime scene at Pulse. They’re almost done processing the scene.
Meanwhile, House Speaker Paul Ryan is criticizing the FBI for releasing a partial transcript of Mateen’s conversation with a 911 dispatcher, calling it “preposterous.” He called on the Obama administration to release the full transcript with no redactions “so the public is clear-eyed about who did this, and why.”
“We know the shooter was a radical Islamist extremist inspired by ISIS. We also know he intentionally targeted the LGBT community,” Ryan said.