Orlando shooter Omar Mateen 911 call transcripts: ‘You already know what I did’

“You people are gonna get it,” Orlando, Fla., shooter Omar Mateen told police in one of several conversations with law enforcement the night of his massacre at Pulse nightclub.

The FBI on Monday morning released partial redacted transcripts of conversations between Mateen and law enforcement. Four hours later, following criticism from many fronts, the Department of Justice reversed course and sent out a new version with the unredacted transcript of Mateen’s call with an Orlando police dispatcher.

The transcripts reveal that when asked by a crisis negotiator why he was calling, Mateen calmly said, “You already know what I did.” He also told officers he had a vest like those “used in France,” referring to the series of November 2015 terror attacks in Paris that killed 130 people and involved suicide vests.

The gunman also warned that a vehicle outside the club had been loaded with “some bombs” and at one point said he planned to put explosive vests on four hostages. Officers did not find any explosives on Mateen, who lived 120 miles away in Fort Pierce, or in his vehicle.

Mateen pledged allegiance to the Islamic State on the call and later threatened that his attack on Pulse would not be the only of its kind. “In the next few days, you’re going to see more of this type of action going on,” he said.

Mateen, an American born to Afghani immigrants, killed 49 people and injured 53 others at the popular gay dance club on June 12.

Gunman Omar Mateen killed 49 people and injured 53 others at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Fla., on June 12. Mateen, 29, died after a standoff and shootout with police. (Photo: AP/Yahoo News)
Gunman Omar Mateen killed 49 people and injured 53 others at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Fla., on June 12. Mateen, 29, died after a standoff and shootout with police. (Photo: AP/Yahoo News)

The FBI initially omitted portions of the transcripts where Mateen named the group or individual to whom he pledged his allegiance amid the attacks.

When questioned in a Monday press conference about the reason for omissions in the transcript, FBI Assistant Special Agent in Charge Ronald Hopper said, “We’re not going to propagate violent rhetoric that comes from other people, whether it be here or overseas.”

“While we’re not releasing the audio, I can tell you while the killer did made these murderous statements, he did so in a chilling, calm and deliberate manner,” Hopper said.

The unredacted version includes Mateen’s references to the Islamic State and its leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

“Unfortunately, the unreleased portions of the transcript that named the terrorist organizations and leaders have caused an unnecessary distraction from the hard work that the FBI and our law enforcement partners have been doing to investigate this heinous crime,” the DOJ said in a prepared statement. “As much of this information had been previously reported, we have re-issued the complete transcript to include these references in order to provide the highest level of transparency possible under the circumstances.”

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Attorney General Loretta Lynch also addressed the transcript omissions a day prior to their release.

“The reason why we’re going to limit these transcripts is to avoid revictimizing those who went through this horror,” Lynch told CNN. “But it will contain the substance of his conversations. And there were three conversations between this killer and negotiators.”

Partial and redacted transcript released by the FBI:

Hopper said investigators, who have conducted more than 500 interviews since the shooting, currently have no evidence that Mateen, a longtime security guard who wanted to be a police officer, was directed by a foreign terrorist group.

“He was radicalized domestically,” the agent said. Sources briefed on the FBI’s investigation have said Mateen watched Islamic State terrorist videos — including some showing brutal beheadings — and talked to co-workers about them.

Orlando officials — citing confidentially under Florida law and the ongoing investigation — have refused to provide hundreds of 911 calls and police reports from the Orlando nightclub massacre to Yahoo News and numerous other media outlets.

The omissions drew immediate criticism from House Speaker Paul Ryan:

FBI Director James Comey, in a statement the day after the shooting, had revealed that Mateen had pledged allegiance to ISIS.

Ryan spokeswoman AshLee Strong confirmed that the speaker was only asking for the full 911 call transcript to be released, not the victims’ calls.

An aide to Ryan said the speaker has not seen the unredacted transcripts. The aide, who requested anonymity, also said that “whether the three subsequent calls between Orlando PD and the terrorist should be released should depend on whether the calls contain any information that would useful to a future attacker about how police negotiate with a hostage taker.”

Mateen was armed with an assault-style rifle and a handgun. The shooting, the deadliest in modern U.S. history, prompted many congressional Democrats to revive calls for greater regulation of gun sales. Many of Ryan’s fellow Republicans and some Democrats have opposed such measures, saying they could encroach on the constitutional right to bear arms.

Unredacted transcript of Mateen’s 911 call with Orlando P.D.:

According to the transcripts released Monday, Mateen did not reveal his feelings about gay people nor the LGBT community during those calls.

“We’re still exploring why he chose this particular place to attack,” said Lynch, who will visit Orlando on Tuesday.

Authorities, citing respect for the victims, declined to release any 911 calls made by those inside the club.

“Yes, the audio is compelling, but to expose that now would be excruciatingly painful to exploit them in this way,” Hopper said.

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During a Monday news conference, reporters peppered authorities with questions about the police response to the nightclub and the shootout with Mateen.

“Those killings are on the suspect and the suspect alone,” Orlando Police Chief John Mina said on the possibility that police accidentally killed clubgoers.

(This story has been updated since it was originally published.)

Yahoo News reporter Dylan Stableford, editor Lauren Johnston and White House Correspondent Olivier Knox contributed to this report.

Jason Sickles is a national reporter for Yahoo News. Follow him on Twitter (@jasonsickles).

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