It’s Latin night at Pulse night club in Orlando, United States of America, and the room is full of people from all backgrounds. Young and old, straight and gay, getting along in perfect harmony.
2:02am. Police receive a report saying a gunshot has been fired at Pulse. An off-duty officer is there and engages in a gun battle. The shooter goes back inside the club and more shots are fired.
2:04am. Additional officers arrive. They enter the club four minutes later and have a shoot off with the attacker.
2:09am. The club posts a warning on their Facebook page, which reads, “Everyone get out of Pulse and keep running.”
2:18am. A SWAT team is called to the site.
2:35am. The shooter makes a call to 911. “I wanna let you know, I’m in Orlando and I did the shootings.”
“What's your name?” The operator asks.
“My name is Omar Mateen. I pledge allegiance to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi of the Islamic state.”
2:48am. The gunman, Omar Mateen, speaks with crisis negotiators.
3:03am. Mateen has a second conversation with the police, and a third at 3:24am. He identifies himself as an Islamic soldier and threatens to set off explosives, including a car bomb and suicide vests.
3:58am. The Orlando Police Department’s twitter account warns residents to stay away from the area.
4:21am. Police clear a way for the people still trapped inside the club to escape by removing an air conditioning unit from a dressing room window. As people are rescued, they tell police that the shooter made threats to put bomb vests on 4 people within 15 minutes.
5.00am. Those trapped inside have been there for almost 3 hours, some injured and bleeding, calling police from phones and begging for help.
5:02am. A SWAT team and the Orange County Sheriff’s Office hazardous device team begin to breach the bathroom wall with an explosive charge and armoured vehicle. When the wall is broken, people emerge. So does the shooter. Mateen comes out with two guns. He begins shooting at police and they fire back. An officer is shot in the battle, but saved from serious injury by his helmet.
5:15am. Police report that the shooter is down.
5:53am. Just before sunrise on Sunday morning, a police tweet confirms Mateen’s death.
About the Author
Xanthe enjoys writing, reading, taekwondo, playing guitar and singing.