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Belle Isle, Fla. Police Officer Brandon Cornwell, 25, told The Washington Post that he and the officers entered Pulse Orlando as bullets flew and clubgoers screamed. He said his group aimed their rifles and waited about “15 or 20 minutes” because they were told not to engage the bathroom area. Cornwell said he never even saw Mateen.
Federal authorities said Monday that police “engaged the shooter” inside the club at about 2:08 a.m. Cornwall’s account to The Post offers a first glimpse into the efforts to take down Mateen, who murdered 49 people before being killed by officers in a hail of gunfire.
However, the officer’s account raises questions as to why the first officers who engaged Mateen weren’t told to pursue Mateen in the bathroom or whether SWAT team members or other officers entered the club once the first group retreated.
The FBI has said that the SWAT team didn’t go into the building until 5 a.m., three hours after the attack started.
Cornwall didn’t further discuss what happened inside the club, citing the ongoing investigation, but he explained that he didn’t second-guess the decision to hold position outside the bathroom.
2:02am - Sunday, June 12 - Suspect Omar Mateen tries to enter Pulse nightclub armed with assault rifle and and handgun and is spotted by a security guard. The two exchange fire outside the club - but Mateen manages to enter the nightclub, holding 320 people, while still firing. First 911 call received by Orlando Police Department.
2:04am - First police officers, including Brandon Cornwell, arrive at the scene.
2:08am - FBI says officers entered the club and 'engaged' the shooter.
2:09am - Pulse nightclub posts a message to their Facebook desperately telling those inside 'Everyone get out of pulse and keep running'.
2:35am - Mateen calls 911 and pledges allegiance to ISIS and Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
4:21am - Police rip out an air conditioning unit, creating a hole through which some people escape.
4:29am - Rescued victims tell police the shooter said he was going to put four vests with bombs on hostages within 15 minutes.
5.02am - Three hours after the first shooting began, a SWAT team use armored vehicle and explosives to breach the bathroom wall. SWAT officers manage to free 30 hostages who dashed to safety.
5:15am - The shooter is shot at and is confirmed as being 'down'.
originally posted by: lightedhype
You do not play the hostage game with an active shooter. Just go in and take the damn guy out. Im sorry but it would be much better if this read 20 civillians and 1 cop killed because of a heroic action. Instead it seems he was allowed to shoot fish in a barrel because officer safety.
What are they serving for? And what swat team takes 3 hours to assemble?
Yet they will barge into a trap house full of many criminals and guns all willy nilly no Fs given.
originally posted by: onequestion
We have total morons as leaders in every facet of government in this country.
Total morons who went to the right colleges or got into the right social networks but do not have the right skills to perform their duties.
It has to end.
originally posted by: starviego
I am getting the feeling that the status of the victims too injured to move on their own is off little import to the police in these situations.
originally posted by: Shamrock6
a reply to: lightedhype
How you get three hours to assemble SWAT from "15-20 minutes SWAT arrived and took our places" is some incredible math skills.
Conspiracy, I tell you!
originally posted by: bobs_uruncle
SWAT .... 3 hours to get their collective sh#t together.
The tactical response is eerily similar to that of the infamous Columbine High School Massacre of 1999. In that too the cops engaged the shooters very quickly, they followed them into the school, and then they were ordered out, for still unexplained reasons, and told to wait for SWAT.
But they promised that from then all police would be trained to engage an active shooter immediately. So I guess those lessons were lost down in Orlando.
originally posted by: onequestion
a reply to: caterpillage
We have educated morons running everything.
Witnesses have said that there was a gun battle between police and Mateen at the south side of the building. But Cornwell said he couldn’t even see Mateen in the dimly lit club.