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Pulse Night Club »info

Address:Orlando, FL 32806, USA

Owner:Allison Shaw

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On June 12, 2016, the Perpetrator, a 29-year-old security guard, killed 49 people and wounded 58 others in a terrorist attack/hate crime inside Pulse, a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, United States. He was shot and killed by Orlando Police Department (OPD) officers after a three-hour standoff. Pulse was hosting a "Latin Night" and thus most of the victims were Latinos. At the time it was the deadliest incident of violence against LGBT people in U.S. history, and the deadliest terrorist attack in the U.S. since the September 11 attacks in 2001.

In a 9-1-1 call shortly after the shooting began, the Perpetrator swore allegiance to the leader of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and said the shooting was "triggered" by the U.S. killing of an Isis member in Iraq the previous month. He later told a negotiator he was "out here right now" because of the American-led interventions in Iraq and in Syria, and that the negotiator should tell the United States to stop bombing.

Initial reports said the Perpetrator may have been a patron of the nightclub and used gay dating websites and apps, but Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) officials said they did not find any credible evidence to substantiate these claims. The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) also conducted an investigation and said it found no evidence of communications between ISIL and the Perpetrator.

First shots and hostage situation

On June 11, 2016, Pulse, a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, was hosting Latin Night, a weekly Saturday night event drawing a primarily Hispanic crowd. About 320 people were inside the club, which was serving last call drinks at around 2:00 a.m. EDT on June 12. After arriving at the club by van, the Perpetrator approached the building on foot, armed with a SIG Sauer MCX semi-automatic rifle and a 9mm Glock 17 semi-automatic pistol. At 2:02 a.m., Officer Adam Gruler, a uniformed off-duty Orlando Police Department (OPD) officer working extra duty as a security guard, engaged the Perpetrator. The Perpetrator bypassed him into the building and began shooting patrons. Dozens were killed or severely injured.

Gruler called in a signal for assistance. When additional officers arrived at the nightclub, he shouted "[The gunman]'s in the patio!" and resumed firing at the Perpetrator. Two officers joined Gruler in engaging the Perpetrator, who then retreated farther into the nightclub and "began a 'hostage situation'". In the next 45 minutes, about 100 officers from the OPD and the Orange County Sheriff's Office were dispatched to the scene. Among the earliest first responders to arrive were a firefighter crew from Fire Station 5 and two supporting firefighter paramedics from Fire Station 7. Eighty Fire and Emergency Medical Services personnel from the Orlando Fire Department were deployed during the entire incident.

During the shooting, some of the people who were trapped inside the club sought help by calling or sending text messages to friends and relatives. Initially, some of them thought the gunshots were firecrackers or part of the music. A recently discharged Marine veteran who was working as a bouncer immediately recognized the sounds as gunfire from a high-caliber gun, jumped over a locked door—behind which dozens of people were hidden and paralyzed by fear—and opened a latched door behind them that allowed about 70 people to escape. Many described a scene of panic and confusion caused by the loud music and darkness. One person shielded herself by hiding inside a bathroom and covering herself with bodies. A bartender said she took cover beneath the glass bar. At least one patron tried to help those who were hit. According to a man trapped inside a bathroom with fifteen other patrons, the Perpetrator fired sixteen times into the bathroom, through the closed door, killing at least two and wounding several others.

According to one of the hostages, the Perpetrator entered a bathroom in the nightclub's northwest side and opened fire on the people hiding there, wounding several. The hostage, who had taken cover inside a stall with others, was injured by two bullets and struck with flying pieces of a wall that was hit by stray bullets. the Perpetrator's rifle then jammed briefly, at which point he switched to using a handgun. Two survivors quoted the Perpetrator as saying, "I don't have a problem with black people", and that he "wouldn't stop his assault until America stopped bombing his country". Other survivors heard the Perpetrator claim that he had explosives as well as snipers stationed around the club. Patrons trapped inside called or texted 9-1-1 to warn of the possible presence of explosives.

Emergency response

At 2:09 a.m., several minutes after the gunfire started, the club posted on its Facebook page, "Everyone get out of pulse and keep running." At 2:22 a.m., the Perpetrator placed a 9-1-1 call in which he mentioned the Boston Marathon bombers as his "homeboys" and made a reference to an American citizen who died in a suicide bombing in Syria in 2014. The Perpetrator said he was inspired by Isis member's death for the Al-Nusra Front targeting Syrian government troops (a mutual enemy of the two Salafist groups, despite their history of violence with each other), and swore allegiance to the ISIL leader. The FBI said that the Perpetrator and Isil leader had attended the same mosque and knew each other "casually". The Perpetrator made two other 9-1-1 calls during the shooting. Numerous 9-1-1 calls were made by the patrons inside the nightclub around this time.

After the initial rounds of gunfire between the Perpetrator and the security guard at Pulse, six officers, with at least a couple carrying assault rifles, shot out a large glass window and followed the sound of shooting to the bathroom area. When the Perpetrator stuck his head out from one of the bathrooms, at least two officers shot at him. After the gunfire stopped, they were ordered to hold position instead of storming the bathroom, according to one of the officers. After about 15 to 20 minutes, SWAT arrived and had the officers withdraw as the officers were "not really in tactical gear". SWAT then took over the operation. On why the officers didn't proceed to the bathroom and engage him, Orlando Police Chief John Mina said it was because the Perpetrator "went from an active shooter to a barricaded gunman" and had hostages. He also noted, "If he had continued shooting, our officers would have went in there." At that time, the last shot by the Perpetrator was fired between 2:10 a.m. and 2:18 a.m.

Rescues of people trapped inside the nightclub commenced and continued throughout the night. Because so many people were lying on the dance floor, one rescuing officer was forced to demand, "f you're alive, raise your hand." By 2:35 a.m., police had managed to extract nearly all of the injured from the nightclub. Those who remained included the hostages held by the Perpetrator in the bathroom, as well as a dozen people who were hiding inside dressing rooms.

Phone calls and negotiations


At 2:45 a.m., the Perpetrator called News 13 of Orlando and said, "I'm the shooter. It's me. I am the shooter." He then said he was carrying out the shooting on behalf of ISIL and began speaking rapidly in Arabic. The Perpetrator also said the shooting was "triggered" by a U.S.-led bombing strike in Iraq that killed an ISIL military commander, on May 6.

A crisis negotiator was present as the Perpetrator was holed up inside and holding hostages. Officers initially believed he was armed with a "suspicious device" that posed a threat, but it was later revealed to be a battery that fell out of an exit sign or smoke detector.

Police hostage negotiators spoke with the Perpetrator by telephone three times between 2:48 a.m. and 3:27 a.m. He claimed during one of the calls that he had bombs strapped onto him. He also claimed that he "had a vehicle in the parking lot with enough explosives to take out city blocks." At 3:58 a.m., the OPD announced to the public that there was a shooting at the club, and that there were multiple injuries. At 4:21 a.m., eight of the hostages escaped after police had removed an air conditioning unit from an exterior wall. At approximately 4:29 a.m., the Perpetrator told negotiators that he planned to strap explosive vests to four hostages, strategically place them in different corners of the building, and detonate them in 15 minutes. OPD officers then decided to end negotiations and prepare to blow their way in.

At around 2:30 a.m., the Perpetrator's second wife—after receiving a call from her mother at approximately 2:00 a.m. asking where her husband was—sent a text message to the Perpetrator asking where he was. the Perpetrator texted back asking her if she had seen the news. After she replied, "No?", the Perpetrator responded, "I love you, babe." According to one source, she texted him back at one point saying that she loved him. She also called him several times during the standoff, but he did not answer. She found out about what was happening at 4:00 a.m. after the police told her to get out of her house with her hands up.
A survivor of the shooting recalled the Perpetrator saying he wanted the United States to "stop bombing his country". The FBI said the Perpetrator "told a negotiator to tell America to stop bombing Syria and Iraq and that was why he was 'out here right now'".

Rescue and resolution

The FBI reported that no shots were heard between the time the Perpetrator stopped exchanging gunfire with the first responders and 5:02 a.m., when Orlando police breached the building's wall.[50] Just before the breach, the Perpetrator entered a women's bathroom where the hostages were hiding and opened fire, killing a man who sacrificed his life to save the woman behind him and at least one other, according to witnesses.

At 5:07 a.m., fourteen SWAT officers—after failing to blow open a big enough hole in the bathroom's exterior wall using a bomb—successfully breached the building when a policeman drove a BearCat armored vehicle through a wall in the northern bathroom. They then used two flashbangs to distract the Perpetrator, and shot at him. The breach drew the Perpetrator out into the hallway, and at 5:14 a.m., he engaged the officers. He was shot eight times and killed in the resulting shootout, which involved at least eleven officers who fired a total of about 150 bullets. He was reported "down" at 5:17 a.m.
At 5:05 a.m., the police said a bomb squad had set off a controlled explosion. At 5:53 a.m., the Orlando police posted on Twitter, "Pulse Shooting: The shooter inside the club is dead." Thirty hostages were freed during the police operation. The survivors were searched by police for guns and explosives.

Casualties

Fifty people died in the incident, including the Perpetrator, and another 58 were injured, some critically. Many underwent surgery. Thirty-nine, including the Perpetrator, were pronounced dead at the scene, and eleven at local hospitals. Of the thirty-eight victims to die at the scene, twenty died on the stage area and dance floor, nine in the nightclub's northern bathroom, four in the southern bathroom, three on the stage, one at the front lobby, and one out on a patio. At least five of the dead were not killed during the initial volley of gunfire by the Perpetrator, but during the hostage situation in the bathroom.