ORLANDO, Fla. (CBSNewYork/AP) — New cellphone video by a survivor of the Orlando nightclub shooting shows the horror victims faced as many people hid during the attack inside a bathroom.
In the video recorded by Miguel Leiva, more than a dozen people, some of them with gunshot wounds, are seen packed into one bathroom stall for three hours inside the Pulse nightclub.READ MORE: 2nd Former Aide Accuses Gov. Andrew Cuomo Of Sexual Harassment, Governor Requests Independent Review
“I recorded the whole video in case — I didn’t think I was going to make it. I thought I was going to die,” Leiva said. “And I figured, ‘You know what? Somebody has to. … Somebody has to know what really happened.”
The cellphone video shows them struggling to keep quiet and sharing a glass of water as the gunman, Omar Mateen, is just steps away.
“Any noise he heard, he was going in that direction and killing them,” Leiva said.
SWAT team Capt. Mark Canty made the decision to ultimately breach the bathroom wall with a front-end loader, ending the standoff.
“We believed he was in the bathroom,” Canty said. “We knew there were other people. We thought there might be some in the bathroom, some in the bathroom across the hall, but we were also getting information that there were people in other rooms inside the club.”
In all, 49 victims died at the club and another 53 were wounded in the Sunday morning attack before Mateen was killed in a shootout with police.
At the Orlando Regional Medical Center, six survivors were still fighting for their lives Friday, CBS2’s Weijia Jiang reported. It’s also become a memorial site for visitors to grieve together and show their support.
“My heart is broken for the country,” said Greg Zanis, who made crosses for the 49 victims in his Aurora, Illinois, garage, then drove 1,200 miles to deliver them.
“I’m just trying to give each one dignity,” he said.
The FBI said it’s still gathering evidence and analyzing cellphone location data to piece together Mateen’s activities leading up to the shooting.
A law enforcement official told CBS News that Mateen was a regular in online chat rooms, specifically searching to meet up with both men and women. It’s not yet know if he met anyone.
Mateen’s digital trail is also giving investigators a clearer timeline of Sunday morning’s rampage.
A U.S. official told CBS News that before the attack Mateen posted his allegiance to al-Qaeda on Facebook. Then he started shooting.
Sources told CBS News he searched for “Pulse Orlando” and “shooting,” perhaps to see if the massacre was trending online. He also called 911 and a TV station.
There is also growing evidence that Mateen’s wife, Noor Salman, may have helped him plan the rampage.
Sources said the couple exchanged “I love you” text messages during the shooting and said she was with Mateen when he bought ammunition, CBS News reported. Investigators also believe she drove with Mateen to case the nightclub before the attack.READ MORE: NYPD: Good Samaritan Killed, 3 Hurt In Stabbing Linked To Illegal Brooklyn Gambling Den
Around 4 p.m., two hours into the three-hour standoff, his wife texted him, “Where are you?” He responded, “Do you see what’s happening?” She responded, “No.” Then he wrote, “I love you babe.”
Salman has been interviewed by the FBI and is cooperating with the investigation. She told authorities she tried to stop her husband from committing the shooting.
Law enforcement officials have also been delving deeper into Mateen’s past.
Records show he was suspended four dozen times in high school for disciplinary problems, and in 2007, Mateen was dismissed from a job at the Florida Department of Correction.
School records show that the Florida nightclub shooter struggled academically in the elementary grades because of behavioral problems and an inability to concentrate and talked about violence at an early age.
According to St. Lucie County school records, one teacher wrote that he’s “very active — constantly moving, verbally abusive, rude, aggressive.”
The teacher noted he talked about violence and sex and had his hands “all over the place — on other children, in his mouth.”
The same teacher wrote that Mateen and another student sang the words “marijuana, marijuana” rather than the school’s song, “mariposa, mariposa.”
In seventh grade, school administrators moved Mateen to another class to “avoid conflicts with other students.” That same report said Mateen was doing poorly in several subjects because of behavioral problems.
In a 1999 letter to Mateen’s father, one of his middle school teachers wrote that the boy’s “attitude and inability to show self-control in the classroom create distractions.”
In the weeks leading up to the attacks, Mateen, a security guard, tried to buy body armor at Robert Abbell’s gun shop. Employees told him they didn’t sell Mateen the gear.
“Then he came back and was requesting ammo,” said Abbell.
He said his employees called the FBI, but federal authorities said the store was not able to provide them with a name.
Meanwhile, the City of Orlando is doing its part to help families of the victims. More than $7 million has already been collected to help with funerals, plane tickets and other expenses.
“It became very clear early on that there were families and individuals and victims that were in need and in need of compensation in a quick fashion,” said Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer. “People that didn’t have groceries, didn’t have rent money,and there was a great need to distribute the money directly to victims.”
In all, 94 families of victims and survivors have contacted Orlando’s assistance center for help.
On Thursday, friends and relatives gathered for the funeral of club bouncer Kimberly “KJ” Morris as President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden laid flowers at a memorial for the 49 victims.
Obama and Biden also met privately with survivors and victims’ families, the club owner and staff, with Obama telling them he was inspired by their courage and felt their pain.MORE NEWS: Nassau County Executive Laura Curran Exposed To Positive COVID-19 Case, Will Quarantine
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