FBI: Orlando Shooter 'Radicalized Domestically'

Monday, June 20th 2016, 9:55 am
By: News On 6

The FBI gave an update Monday on the massacre at the gay nightclub Pulse in Orlando as they released transcripts of the shooter's 911 call.

Members of law enforcement including Assistant Special Agent-In-Charge Ron Harper of the FBI, Orlando Police Chief John Mina and Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings addressed the media.

Agents offered further details about the massacre that killed 49 people and wounded another 53 people, making it the worst mass shooting in modern U.S. history.

The details included the release of a partial transcript of communications between gunman Omar Mateen and Orlando police negotiators in the early morning hours of June 12. Mateen is quoted as saying, "I let you know, I'm in Orlando and I did the shootings."

Authorities initially said they would release only redacted version of the 911 transcript, saying they wanted to protect the victims and not repeat inflammatory statements; however, they Department of Justice reversed that decision Monday afternoon.

Omar Mateen identified himself as an Islamic soldier, but authorities believe Mateen was radicalized domestically, Harper said. Harper said there is no evidence that Mateen was directed by a foreign group.

They are considering the shooter had more than one motive for his actions, he said.

6/18/2016 Related Story: Gay Clubs In Tulsa Honor Orlando Victims, Welcome Police Presence

Chief John Mina said the timeline that is being released will show officers took action quickly upon the "active shooter" situation which changed to a hostage situation when Mateen retreated to the bathroom and barricaded himself in.

Mina said officers were in the club rescuing people while Mateen was with hostages in the bathroom, and that there was not continuous shooting at that time. It is a misconception that Mateen was actively firing for three hours, he said.

All the law enforcement members who spoke at the news conference said the police response was extraordinary and saved many lives, despite some "second guessing" done after the fact.

Harper said the shooting did not re-commence until the hostage rescue began three hours later.

In her first appearance on CBS' "Face the Nation," Attorney General Loretta Lynch expressed concern Sunday about the specific motivations of the gunman in the Orlando nightclub shooting, Omar Mateen.

"We know that he apparently had some concerns or issues with the LGBT community," she said. "It was also Latin night at the club. So again, we're very concerned about the motivations that led him to that particular club at that particular place."

At this point, Lynch said investigators do not have any information that reveals Mateen was being directed from overseas terrorist networks. Investigators, however, have found evidence of online radicalization.

"Over the course of time, he -- like sadly too many individuals -- was consuming radical jihadist information online and was becoming radicalized here in the United States," the attorney general said.

Lynch added that it is too early in the investigation to determine if any family members played a role in the shooting, although a source told CBS News that Mateen and his wife texted during the Orlando rampage. 

"It's really too early to talk about other individuals in the investigation, except to say that we are talking to everyone who had a connection to this killer," she said.

On Tuesday, the Attorney General will be traveling to Orlando to receive on-the-ground briefings. She will also be meeting with first responders, local law enforcement, and victims of the attack to offer them support in the aftermath of such violence.

Federal Bureau Of Investigation website