Orlando police are defending their response to the terrorist shooting at a gay nightclub as critics question their decision to wait three hours to take down the shooter.
[dcquiz]As survivors and families mourn the loss of the Orlando shooting victims, some asked if the police could have acted more quickly to save lives. The attack left 53 injured and 50 dead, including the shooter.
“I just feel that with so many cops to one person, it should have been a little quicker,” Albert Murray, whose daughter was killed in the shooting, told The Wall Street Journal.
“Officers contained [the shooter],” Mina said. “There were no shots being fired after our exchange of gunfire with him about 2:18 a.m., so for all that time there were no shots being fired. Our officers had him contained in the bathroom and certainly, in my opinion, if they had assaulted the bathroom at that time, not only would we be dealing with many, many more lives lost, but we would also be dealing with officers’ lives that would have been taken, based on the layout, the circumstances and the firepower.”
The FBI released a timeline of the shooting, which is shown below:
- 2:02 a.m.: OPD call transmitted multiple shots fired at Pulse nightclub.
- 2:04 a.m.: Additional OPD officers arrived on scene.
- 2:08 a.m.: Officers from various law enforcement agencies made entrance to Pulse and engaged the shooter.
- 2:18 a.m.: OPD SWAT (Special Weapons and Tactics) initiated a full call-out.
- 2:35 a.m.: Shooter contacted a 911 operator from inside Pulse. The call lasted approximately 50 seconds …
Omar Mateen swore allegiance to Islamic State in this call:
- 2:48 a.m.: First crisis negotiation call occurred lasting approximately nine minutes.
- 3:03 a.m.: Second crisis negotiation call occurred lasting approximately 16 minutes.
- 3:24 a.m.: Third crisis negotiation call occurred lasting approximately three minutes.
During this call, Mateen called himself an Islamic soldier. The FBI timeline reports that they removed an air conditioning unit at 4:21 a.m. and evacuated some victims, from whom they learned about the situation inside. The shooter had threatened to strap bombs to four victims. Police searched his car and the scene but found nothing.
The FBI timeline continues:
- 5:02 a.m.: OPD SWAT and OCSO Hazardous Device Team began to breach wall with explosive charge and armored vehicle to make entry.
- 5:14 a.m.: OPD radio communication stated that shots were fired.
- 5:15 a.m.: OPD radio communication stated that OPD engaged the suspect and the suspect was reported down.
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