ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — The city of Orlando released more 911 calls Wednesday from the mass shooting at a gay Florida nightclub after the FBI said the records are no longer a part of its investigation.
The calls came from a patron who had just been inside the club but managed to run out with a friend who was shot and from a brother who was texting with his sister who was shot in her ribs and leg and was trapped in a nightclub bathroom. The brother passed on information from his sister to a police dispatcher in several calls.
“She is saying, ‘Please hurry up … She says ‘Try to get someone in there because he’s getting ready to shoot,'” the brother relayed to the police dispatcher in the second hour of what would be a three-hour standoff between gunman Omar Mateen and police. “She just says there is a lot of blood.”
The dispatcher told the brother that police officers were going room-to-room in the club, rescuing trapped patrons.
“Why can’t they find her?” the brother asked. “She is losing a lot of blood. It’s making it kind of hard for me to talk to her.”
Mateen, who had pledged alliance to the Islamic State, was killed in a shootout with SWAT team members rescuing police officers after a three-hour standoff on June 12. The hours-long rampage killed 49 people and required hospitalization for 53 others in the worst mass shooting in recent U.S. history.
The release of more than a dozen 911 calls Wednesday came three months after the massacre and as a legal fight between two dozen media groups and the city of Orlando over the records is heading toward a conclusion.
The Associated Press and other media organizations sued for the release of the more than 600 calls made to emergency dispatchers, as well as communication between Mateen and police, saying they could help the public evaluate police response to the massacre.
The city countered that the recordings were exempt under Florida’s public records law, and that the FBI insisted their release could disrupt the investigation.
The FBI said last week withholding the records was no longer necessary.
The city had previously released a handful of 911 calls, and like the ones made public Wednesday, they are from family members or friends who were outside the club.
In one call released Wednesday, a woman says her friend has been shot and they are outside the club.
A dispatcher tells her police officers are at the club, but that he can’t stay on the phone since he is fielding other calls about the shooting.
“But my friend is shot,” the woman said, crying. “She is shot. My friend is shot!… She is bleeding. She is right here!”
The dispatcher tells her to stay on the line so she can be transferred to the fire department where dispatchers can walk her through providing first aid to her friend.
“Stay on the line. Don’t hang up,” the dispatcher said.
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