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June 1, 2017

Hours Of Bodycam Footage From Orlando Pulse Nightclub Shooting Released

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“Hands up, come to me!” officers yell to Orlando Pulse nightclub victims in one video. In another, an officer shouts at gunman Omar Mateen, warning him that he will die. Most tragic of all are the videos of officers clearing the club amid the sounds of cellphones chirping loudly as family members desperately try to get ahold of their loved ones trapped inside.

The videos are part of more than 11 hours of officer body camera footage released Wednesday by the city of Orlando that detail the horrific events of last year’s mass shooting, the worst in modern U.S. history. On June 12, 2016, Mateen walked into the gay Florida nightclub and gunned down 49 people while injuring dozens more.

“I want to let you know I’m in Orlando and I did the shooting,” Mateen calmly said to a 911 operator during the tragedy. Later in the call, the 29-year-old pledged loyalty to the Islamic State. 

The newly released videos show officers arriving at the club to confront Mateen, who later died in a shootout with police.

“Let me see your hands!” an officer shouts inside the club as gunshots ring out in one video. “Let me see your hands now or you will die!”

“We’ve still got an active shooter here,” an officer says in another video. “We’ve got him contained in the bathroom. We’ve got several long guns trained on the bathroom right now.”

The incident took hours to unfold as officers cleared out the nightclub and cornered Mateen. 

“During that whole three hours, we were in there saving people from the dance floor, from dressing rooms, from the other bathroom,” Orlando Police Chief John Mina told ABC News. “We took 22 people out of the front bathroom. Once we were inside that club, there were no more gunshots until the final assault.”

As victims moan around him in a video, an officer keeps his gun trained on a bathroom door.

“Fuck,” he sighs.

In 911 calls released last year, a dispatcher tells a man trapped inside that she has to answer other calls.

“No, no, he’s going to kill us,” the man pleads.

The situation was made more complicated when Mateen told dispatchers he had a bomb that could take out a city block. That turned out to be a lie. 

The videos also show the officers’ frustration as the late-night ordeal unfolds and screams are heard in the club.

“Get the fuck on my right!” one officer screams at another as they advance through the building. 

After helping bloodied victims get to safety, Belle Isle Police Officer Brandon Cornwell is inside the club prepared to confront the gunman, body camera footage shows.

“Lord Jesus, watch over me,” Cornwell says to himself.

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Source: Queer Voices

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