The Orange County Sheriff’s Office on Tuesday released a batch of 911 calls from people reporting the mass shooting at a gay Orlando nightclub in June.
Some calls came from people who fled the June 12 shooting at Pulse nightclub. Others came from family and friends who’d spoken to loved ones trapped in bathrooms as the lone attacker, Omar Mateen, killed 49 people in the deadliest mass shooting in modern American history. Mateen, who died in a shootout with police hours later, also wounded 53 people, as the club was crowded with revelers.
“He’s still in the bathroom and he’s bleeding,” said a man calling about his son. “He got shot and no one’s going in for him.”
The sheriff’s office redacted personal information like the names of callers and victims.
“Nobody’s going in for him,” the caller said to the dispatcher, his voice breaking.
“We do have lots of help out there,” the dispatcher said. “They’re trying to go in.”
“Anybody dead yet,” the man asked moments later.
“I don’t know sir,” the dispatcher responded.
ABC News was the first to publish the excerpts on Tuesday. The Huffington Post and several other news outlets also obtained the recordings from the Orange County Sheriff’s Department through a Freedom of Information Act request.
Some callers complained that they’d encountered busy signals when calling 911.
“They’re all scared to death and they all think they’re going to die,” said a man whose girlfriend had texted him from a bathroom where she was with 18 people, including two who had been killed. He said he’d called 911 earlier.
“She’s texting me because she’s afraid that whoever is in there shooting people is going to hear them.”
The Orlando Police Department was criticized by some who said police took too long to enter the club. Chief John Mina, however, said police could not act sooner because Mateen had hostages.
Dispatchers showed signs that they were overwhelmed by the flood of calls.
“I’m calling about my brother because he was in there. When he called us he was in the bathroom. He said that there was a lot of dead people,” said a woman.
The dispatcher sighed before saying, “OK. I understand. We are in the club. We are searching for everybody, we are pulling victims out. Please have patience.”
The city had already released some 911 logs, or the notes dispatchers took as they received calls during the tragedy. In those logs, callers described shots fired and expressed concern that the gunman had a bomb.
Those logs included notes from one dispatcher, who spoke to a female caller while the caller was hiding in the bathroom:
“She is in the bathroom.”
“Thinks they’re out of bullets.
“Someone screaming help.”
“My caller is no longer responding. Just an open line with moaning.”
It was already known that in the midst of the chaos, Mateen called 911 himself. He took credit for the shooting and swore allegiance to the Islamic State.