A woman hiding in a closet described gunman Omar Mateen spraying bullets throughout a Florida nightclub during the worst mass shooting in recent U.S. history, according to 911 call transcripts released Friday.
The transcripts were the last batch of 911 calls from last June’s massacre at Pulse to be made public by the city of Orlando, and they cover calls made during the first several minutes of the massacre.
In one call, made three minutes after the shooting began, the caller reports hiding in a bathroom with others as Mateen appears to be going in and out of the bathroom.
“They are away from me,” the caller says, referring to the shooter. Then, a moment later, the caller says, “They are in here. They are in here. They are in here.”
Gunshots can be heard in the background, and the caller says, “I’m shot!”
The operator tells the caller, “That’s OK. Help is coming.”
More shots are fired and the caller screams, “I’m shot!” Another voice says on the call, “Please stop. He’s bleeding.”
When the operator asks if the caller is still there, no one answers.
A judge ordered the city to release the 911 calls after a court fight with media companies, including The Associated Press.
Audio recordings of 911 calls made 10 minutes after the shooting began were released earlier this week.
Circuit Judge Margaret Schreiber deemed calls made in the first 10 minutes of the shooting too graphic and said they could be released only as transcripts.
In another call, a man who has been shot three times in the chest tells an operator he’s hiding in a bathroom under a pile of bodies. “We’re dying,” he says.
“No, no, no. Don’t say that,” the operator says. Loud noises are heard in the background, and when the operator asks if he is still there, the caller doesn’t respond.
In some calls, the callers didn’t speak but just left an open line so 911 operators could hear what was going on. In other calls, operators told callers to tap buttons on their cellphones to tell them how many shooters are in the club so they don’t have to talk or make noise.
Mateen was the only shooter, and by the time a three-hour standoff at the club ended, 49 patrons were killed and another 53 people required hospitalization.
Mateen was killed in a shootout with SWAT team members.
Republished with permission of the Associated Press.