More details have unfolded about the Orlando shooting, which means more has been said about the shooter Omar Mateen. It’s believed that Mateen had a much bigger plan in terms of how many people he planned to kill in the early hours of Sunday.
According to TMZ, Chief John Mina unveiled Omar Mateen’s plan, which involved a larger death toll.
In a statement, Mina said, “Based on statements made by the suspect and based on information we received from the hostages and the people inside we believed that further loss of life was imminent. I made the decision to commence the rescue operation and do the explosive breach.”
7:15 a.m. updates from @OrlandoPolice Chief John Mina on nightclub shooting.
New briefing in about an hour. https://t.co/E11ToLrjXE
— Joshua Chavers (@JoshuaChavers) June 12, 2016
Due to the breach failing to penetrate the wall, police were able to use an armored vehicle to punch a hole in the wall about three feet wide to rescue others.
“We were able to rescue dozens and dozens of people who came through that hole. The suspect came out of that hole himself with a hand gun and a long gun and engaged in a gun battle with officers where he was ultimately killed,” said Mina.
During the gun battle with Omar Mateen, Mina details that the suspect retreated into the bathroom to hold hostages. At that time, police officials were able to save dozens of people.
“Officers forced him to stop shooting and retreat to the bathroom where we believe he had several hostages. At that time we were able to save and rescue dozens and dozens of people and get them out of the club.”
Unfortunately, this meant that many died in the women’s bathroom while Omar Mateen held them hostage. One, in particular, was Eddie Justice, the son of Mina Justice. Ms. Justice was contacted through a series of texts by her son Eddie, who asked her to call the police.
— TODAY (@TODAYshow) June 13, 2016
The series of texts between Eddie and his mother read as follows.
“Mommy I love you.”
“In club they shooting.”
When Mina asked if he was okay, Eddie responded with another series of texts.
“Trapp in bathroom.”
“Pulse. Downtown. Call police.”
At 2:39 a.m., Eddie wrote to his mother, “He’s coming. I’m gonna die.”
When Mina asked if people were harmed, her son replied, “Lots. Yes.”
When Mina asked her son if the man was in the bathroom with him, Eddie’s last texts were “He’s a terror” and “Yes.”
As for the shooter’s bigger plan, People Magazine reported that the gunman was going to target Walt Disney World as a potential place to create terror. Mateen’s wife, Noor Zahi Salman, told federal officials that they had taken a trip to Walt Disney World back in April and that he was “scouting Downtown Disney and Pulse nightclub for attacks.”
It’s said that Downtown Disney does not have security or bag checks before entering into that specific park.
The FBI also investigated Omar Mateen twice, once in 2013 and another time in 2014. Mateen made comments at work, and due to his concerning comments, the FBI interviewed witnesses as well as Mateen but closed the case.
It was then reopened in 2014, when it was noted Omar had ties to Moner Mohammad Abu-Salha, an American suicide bomber, who blew himself up back in 2014 in Syria. Mateen was interviewed, but due to lack of evidence, the case was closed.
Omar Mateen started to shoot in the Pulse nightclub at 2:09 a.m. Pulse’s Facebook page alerted party goers at that specific time with a short message.
“Everyone get out of pulse and keep running.”
Three hours later they made a post stating, “As soon as we have any information we will update everyone. Please keep everyone in your prayers as we work through this tragic event. Thank you for your thoughts and love.”
Hours later, Pulse posted the following message.
“One Blood is in need of water, juice, snacks, and fruit for all those donating blood right now.
379 W Michigan St
Orlando, FL 32806”
[Photo by Chris O’Meara/AP Images]