It was the worst mass shooting in U.S. history, and now we know exactly how it happened.
On Tuesday, Orlando police have released a minute-by-minute narrative of the Pulse nightclub shooting — made up of the 911 calls, texts, and other contact that victims made as they were under siege inside the dance club.
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The attack, which left 49 people dead and scores more injured, began just after 2:00 a.m. on June 12, with the first 911 call being logged at 2:02:54, according to the newly released report.
That call identified the incident as "unknown trouble," and just three seconds later, a call came in of "shots fired," and seven seconds after that of "shots still being fired."
The report merges multiple calls from that point for clarity, and reveals one caller hiding "upstairs" in a closet and whispering on the phone while asking for help.
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That call allowed authorities to hear multiple people screaming in the background, too, as gun shots can be heard the entire time.
Tragically, seven minutes into after that first call, the report reveals a dire fate for one caller:
"[The caller] is no longer responding, just an open line with moaning."
By 2:18 a.m., SWAT Lieutenant Scott Smith was paged and the Orlando police asked their specialists to respond, in addition to the uniformed officers that had already rushed to the scene.
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Throughout the report, officials are hurriedly trying to track whether there are multiple shooters at the club, but eventually they are able to determine there is just one.
Several times throughout the report - after 2:50 a.m. and again at 4:09 a.m. — officials mistakenly believe that the shooter has bombs strapped to him. Thankfully, no bombs were detonated or found by authorities after the shooting.
By 5:02 a.m., the report confirms that SWAT has breached the building.
Then, finally — thankfully — at 5:17 a.m., roughly three hours and fifteen minutes after the beginning of the siege, SWAT confirms simply "bad guy down," indicating they had killed Omar Mateen.
Further emails released on Tuesday reveal that cops were concerned an exit door was blocked or broken, but a deeper dive into those documents indicates that the club actually had more functioning exits than were required for its size.
Both the city and nightclub also released statements on Tuesday saying that there was no sign of any exit being tampered with, broken, or blocked that evening.
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All this information is enlightening, perhaps, as officials try to build a bigger picture of everything that happened, but it doesn't make things any easier for Orlando.
Our thoughts continue to be with all the victims of this tragic, senseless act.
[Image via AP Images.]
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