Audio tapes of the calls between Omar Mateen, the man behind the Pulse nightclub massacre in Orlando and police were made public for the first time on Monday (31 October). The administration had earlier released transcripts of the calls made on 12 June – the night of the incident – from 2.35am to 5am.
Mateen initially made contact with the police by calling 911 at around 2.35am. In the first call he said: "This is Mateen. I want to let you know I'm in Orlando and I did the shooting." When the dispatcher asked for his name, he responded saying, "I pledge my allegiance to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi of the Islamic State."
After the first call was disconnected, a police negotiator contacted Mateen, who at the time was inside the LGBTQ nightclub.
At around 2.48am, the negotiator called him for the first time and prodded him to give his name as they were not aware of his location and had no details about him as well.
The lead negotiator identified himself as "Andy" to Mateen and said that he wanted to help him through the situation and said, "Look, I'm trying to figure out how to keep you [be] safe and how to get this resolved peacefully because I'm not a politician, I'm not a government. All I can do is help individuals and I want to start with helping you."
Mateen provided his reason behind the massacre and said: "My homeboy Tamerlan Tsarnaev did his thing on the Boston Marathon, my homeboy (unidentified name) did his thing, OK, so now it's my turn, OK?"
He told the officer that he had a bomb vest and many vehicles outside were rigged with bombs that could "take out a whole city block almost."
Mateen told the police negotiator that he tell the US government to stop carrying out air strikes in Iraq and Syria as he felt the pain of those people getting killed there. "They're killing a lot of innocent people. So what am I to do here, when my people are getting killed over there? You get what I'm saying?"
When the negotiator asked if he did something about it, the gunman replied saying he did. The officer asked him what he did, an angry Mateen replied, "You already know what I did."
He then hung up the phone. In another conversation with the negotiator at around 2.43am, Mateen demanded that the US government stop bombings in the Middle East and cited senior Isis (IS) leader Abu Wahid's death in a US air strike as the reason for his actions.
He would only speak to the negotiator for a few minutes and then would disconnect the calls. At around 3.10am, the negotiator began calling him back and Mateen answered on the sixth attempt. At one point, when the negotiator pressed him for a list of his grievances, Mateen said "No, no, no, no, no, Mr. Hostage Negotiator, no. Don't play no f***** games with me."
When the officer asked him if he had an accomplice, he replied "None of your business." This call lasted six minutes and police reached him again just before 3.25am. "You're annoying me with these phone calls, and I don't really appreciate it," he said.
"Well, I understand that, but the fact that you appreciate it or not doesn't matter at this point. We need to talk, and we need to stay in open communication," the negotiator replied. The shooter then told the negotiator not to talk to him like that.
He was shot and killed by the Orlando police at around 5am the same morning.
On Monday, Circuit Judge Margaret Schreiber asked for the audio of the calls to be made public. According to Orlando Sentinel, the release comes after more than two dozen media companies pushed for the recordings to be released.