Breaking News Emails
Police released logs from the Orlando massacre on Tuesday, providing a stripped-down, staccato narrative of the horror that unfolded over three hours inside the Pulse nightclub two weeks ago.
The document memorializes the notes that 911 dispatchers took on what callers were telling them and what officers were saying over their radios in the early morning hours of June 12.
The timeline begins with an all-too familiar phrase — "Shots fired" — at 2:02 a.m. Another two-word entry — "Subj down" — marked the end of the bloodshed at 5:15 a.m.
In between, note after note laid bare the fear, panic and carnage that filled the club where 49 victims were killed before gunman Omar Mateen was shot dead by police.
In the first few minutes, dispatchers could hear gunfire, cries for help, and heartbreaking silence:
"Desk can hear shooting in the background."
"Caller is whispering. She is in the bathroom."
"Someone screaming help."
"Dsk has open line hearing 20-30 gunshots."
"My caller is no longer responding, just an open line with moaning."
Breaking News Emails
As clubgoers ran for their lives to various corners of the building, calls came in from restrooms, the kitchen, an office:
"[Caller] is shot in the leg and knee."
"People in bathroom are also shot."
"[Caller advises} his friend has been shot in the chest."
[Caller advises] victim is losing a lot of blood."
Within a half-hour, details about the shooter began to trickle in.
"Subj has chinstrap facial hair," a dispatcher noted at 2:25 a.m.
At 2:34 a.m., another typed in, "long gun shell casings."
Six minutes later, the log shows that the shooter was "saying he pledges to the Islamic State," followed by "shooter saying possible explosives in the parking lot."
At 2:51 a.m., a victim told police the shooter had several bombs strapped to him, which turned out not to be true.
"Subj advises that he is a terrorist," the next log notation said.
Clubgoers trapped inside continued to call to report on their whereabouts, the condition of the injured and Mateen's movements:
"Small dressing room [possibly] hears reloading."
"I subj trying to leave small dressing room... staying put now ... hearing screaming."
"Vic is ... losing a lot of blood from leg and ribs."
At 4:21 a.m., the grim notes are interrupted by a glimmer of good news: "People are evacuating out of dressing room window through AC."
Then, at 5:02 a.m., the notes begin describing the police operation to enter the club.
"SWAT breached," the log said at about the time officers used explosives and an armored vehicle to break through a wall.
"[Caller] heard 4 explosions, desk heads them in [background], it continued.
"Shots fired north bathroom," was the update at 5:14 a.m.
Less than a minute later, dispatchers noted Mateen was down. And two minutes later, further confirmation that the worst mass shooting in modern U.S. history was over.
"Bad guy down strapped," the log said.