US to reveal details of Orlando nightclub gunman's 911 calls

By REUTERS
June 20, 2016 15:52
1 minute read.

 
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US authorities were due on Monday to release partial transcripts of 911 calls made during last week's mass shooting by a gunman who killed 49 people at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, before dying in a shoot-out with police.

Omar Mateen, 29, is said to have paused during a three-hour siege to telephone emergency dispatchers three times and to post internet messages from inside the Pulse nightclub professing his support for Islamist militant groups.

The FBI was due to hold a news conference in Orlando at 11 a.m. EDT (1500 GMT) to release the partial transcripts of the 911 calls. Attorney General Loretta Lynch said the transcripts would include the "substance of his conversations" recorded as Mateen carried out the deadliest mass shooting in modern US history.

She told ABC News the transcripts will not include any pledge of loyalty Mateen is alleged to have made to the Islamic State militant group.

Authorities have said preliminary evidence indicates Mateen was a mentally disturbed individual who acted alone and without direction from outside networks.

Lynch, who is due to visit Orlando on Tuesday, told CNN on Sunday that investigators have been focused on building a full profile of Mateen, a New York-born US citizen and Florida resident of Afghan descent who worked as a security guard, who has been described by US officials as "self-radicalized" in his extremist sympathies.

The Pulse massacre, which also left 53 people wounded, led to a week of national mourning and soul-searching over access to firearms and the vulnerability to hate crimes of people in the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community.

While in Orlando, Lynch will meet with investigators, as well as survivors and loved ones of the nightclub victims.

The massacre has triggered a new effort to break a long-standing stalemate in Congress over gun control.

The Senate was set to vote on Monday on four competing measures - two from Democrats and two from Republicans - to expand background checks on gun buyers and curb gun sales for people on terrorism watch lists.

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