The shooting occurred on the night of Saturday 12 to Sunday, June 13 in a nightclub – the Pulse – Orlando (Florida) is the worst mass murder in the history of the United States. With still provisional toll of 49 dead and 53 wounded, it is also the deadliest attack occurred on American soil since September 11.
The minutes of the local media, the police press conferences and authorities, as well as Twitter and Facebook accounts of the club, witnesses, and city officials can trace the unfolding of events.
First shots at 2:00
According to Reuters, nearly 350 people attended the evening “Latin flavor” organized Pulse, high place of LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender) in Orlando. Can however how many were still present when, half an hour before the closure of the establishment, Omar Mateen parks his vehicle in the parking lot of the nightclub. It’s almost 2 am when the man calls 911 emergency number and allegiance to the organization Islamic State (EI).
At 2 h 02, he enters the enclosure of the club, armed with an AR-15 assault rifle, a pistol and several ammunition spare, detailed John Mina, the police chief of the city . Then Omar Mateen opened fire.
“Around 2 am, someone started shooting. People threw themselves on the ground, says one of the customers of Pulse, Ricardo Negron, interviewed by Sky News. There was a short break and some of us were able to get up and run out from behind. ”
A police officer, who was working as a security guard in the club operates. This exchange of gunfire with the assailant. A mother told the local station WFTV receiving several text messages her daughter 18, from 2 pm 07. Touched shot, she is accompanied by her two cousins and calls for help.
Hostage in the toilet
Police reinforcements arrive then that the shooting is still ongoing, the gunman, cornered, is hiding in the bathroom of the nightclub. The hostage-taking began.
A hundred officers from the office of sheriff of Orange County and the Orlando Police deployed near the club. The situation was described as chaotic, the tense confrontation. At one point, says the head of the local police, the contact was established with Omar Mateen.
The shooter mentioned in particular a belt of explosives, the police will then prepare for the storm.
Storming at 5:00
The police claim to have waited several hours before they can actually assess the situation inside the nightclub, get sending armored vehicles on the scene and make sure to have enough staff available.
A 3 h 58, the police Orlando publishes the following message on his Twitter account: “being in the Shootout Pulse nightclub on South Orange Street. Several injured. Avoid the area. ”
It is almost 5:00 when the elite police unit teams (Special Weapons and Tactics, SWAT) launch the assault. Two explosives are launched in an attempt to distract the shooter.
negotiators were in contact w/suspect who talked about bombs said he was wearing a vest pic.twitter.com/3iOA52DdA6
— Orlando Police (@OrlandoPolice) 13 juin 2016
48 victims identified
The first report of the shooting was given about 7 am 15. The identity of the attacker is confirmed at 10 h 15, while the number of victims is revised upwards: 49 people were killed, 48 of them identified, 53 were injured. A first review reported 50 victims, counting the shooter.