ORLANDO (CBSNewYork/CBS Miami/CBS News/AP) — The Orlando Police Department on Monday released audio from the 911 calls made by Omar Mateen from the night he went on a rampage at Pulse nightclub – killing 49 people and injuring more than 50 others.
Circuit Judge Margaret Schreiber on Monday ordered that calls made by Mateen, who died during the massacre, be made public immediately.
The city previously released a transcript of the calls.
In the first call, made at 2:48 a.m. on June 12, Mateen can be heard calmly pledging allegiance to ISIS. His voice rises in anger when he talks about the bombings in Iraq and Syria.
Mateen emphatically tells a police negotiator that he needs to tell the U.S. government to stop bombings in Syria and Iraq.
“Who am I speaking with, please?” the negotiator from the Orlando police asks.
“You are speaking with the person who pledges allegiance to the Islamic State of (inaudible),” Mateen responds.
The negotiator then asks Mateen to tell him where he is located.
“No. Because you have to tell America to stop bombing Syria and Iraq,” Mateen says quickly. “They are 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?”
“I do. I completely get what you’re saying,” the negotiator answers. “What I am trying to do is prevent anyone else from getting …”
“You need to stop the U.S. airstrikes,” Mateen interrupts. “They need to stop the U.S. airstrikes, okay?”
Later in the call, the dispatcher asks Mateen to tell him what he did.
“You already know what I did,” Mateen answers.
The negotiator tells Mateen he is trying to keep him safe, and get this situation resolved peacefully. Mateen responds by saying there are vehicles outside with bombs in them.
“Your people are going to get it and I’m going to ignite it if they try to do anything stupid,” Mateen says.
The negotiator asks what vehicle, “Because I don’t want to see anybody get hurt.”
“No. But I’ll tell you this, they can take out a whole city block almost,” Mateen responds.
In the call, Mateen also calls the Boston Marathon bomber his “homeboy.” He refers to himself as an Islamic soldier, and a Soldier of the God.
Mateen also indicates that he is wearing a vest, “It’s what they used in France,” he says. But later, he tells the dispatcher he is not wearing a vest after all.
The call continues with Mateen ranting about Iraq and Syria, and demanding the bombings stop. At one point, he seems to hang up the call.
The judge who ordered the release of the tapes said Monday she can’t make a decision on whether 232 other calls can be released until she has heard them.
Media groups want the calls released so the public can evaluate the police response to the worst mass shooting in modern U.S. history.
The City of Orlando has said the calls depict suffering and shouldn’t be made public.
During a hearing on Monday, the judge also allowed family members of the 49 patrons who died to testify about whether they wanted the remaining 911 calls made public. The half dozen relatives and family representatives who testified said they opposed the release of audio recordings. Some said they would be comfortable with the release of a transcript but others objected to any release, even in written form.
“It would be extremely difficult for family and friends to listen to these calls,” said Jessica Silva, whose brother, Juan Rivera Velazquez, died with his partner in Pulse. “Just listening to one of the calls … We can recognize voices. Just listening to them screaming … How are we going to feel?”
The hearing also became a forum for several family members to express frustration at the lack of information they’ve gotten. Some said they hoped they would have a better understanding of what happened by listening to the calls.
The FBI has offered no indication of when the probe into the shooting that also left 53 people seriously wounded will be done. An FBI spokeswoman didn’t immediately return an email seeking comment.
Aileen Carillo, whose brother, Simon Adrian Carillo Fernandez, died in the nightclub, said she would like to listen to the calls to help her understand what happened, but didn’t want them to be made public.
“I would like to know what happened. We haven’t really heard what happened. We are unaware of the facts,” Carillo said on the witness stand through a Spanish interpreter.
An attorney for the family of 18-year-old Akyra Murray, the youngest Pulse victim, said family members don’t want the audio recordings released but would be ok with the release of a transcript.
“They feel that transparency is wanted,” said Richard Klineburger, an attorney from Philadelphia, where Murray’s family lives. “We do want to find out a real timeline because to this day, there are no answers.
The calls made by Mateen can be heard below, via CBS affiliate WKMG-TV.
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