The media tell us that:
- Orlando gay-club shooter Omar Mateen was gay — his ex-wife said he was; Mateen frequented Pulse gay club, used gay dating apps, and had male “lovers”.
- Mateen was the lone gunman who had killed 49 and wounded 53 by the time police finally broke into Pulse nightclub after 3 hours of negotiations.
The only problem is this: Both purported truths are contradicted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
#1: Mateen was not gay
Molly Hennessy-Fiske reports for the Los Angeles Times, June 23, 2016, that the FBI has found no evidence so far to support claims by those who say Mateen had gay lovers or communicated on gay dating apps, several law enforcement officials said.
FBI investigators also do not find the testimony of “Miguel” credible. “Miguel” was the man wearing a disguise to conceal his identity who told Univision that he had sex with Mateen after meeting him on the gay dating app, Grindr. “Miguel” also said Mateen had sex with other men too, including a threesome with a Puerto Rican who allegedly told Mateen, after having had unprotected sex with him, that he was HIV positive.
In seeking to verify the reports of Mateen’s homosexuality, federal agents have culled the alleged shooter’s electronic devices, including a laptop computer and cellphone, as well as electronic communications of those who had claimed Mateen was gay. But the FBI found no photographs, no text messages, no smartphone apps, no gay pornography and no cell-tower location data to suggest that Mateen — who was twice married to women and had a young son — conducted a secret gay life.
Nor has the FBI uncovered any direct links between Mateen and members of Islamic State, although it is possible that Mateen might have had communications on cellphones or other electronic equipment that have not been recovered by investigators.
Cord Cedeno, 23, a Pulse regular who insisted he had seenMateen at Pulse months before the shooting and messaged with him on Grindr for a short time, Cedeno said he has no reason to doubt accounts from other Pulse regulars who also said they had seen Mateen visit the club in the past. Cedeno said, “I can go take a lie detector test. I know for a fact Omar messaged me,” and accuses the FBI of “obviously . . . trying to cover up their information.”
#2: Mateen didn’t shoot anyone before police entered
We were told that at 2:02 a.m. on Sunday, June 12, 2016 outside Pulse gay dance club, Omar Mateen first exchanged gunfire with the club’s security officer and two “nearby” police officers, then entered the club where he shot or wounded 102 people before police, after 3 hours, finally broke into the club and killed Mateen in a shootout.
But if we go by the FBI’s report, either Mateen did not shoot anyone inside the club, or no club patron was killed or wounded.
According to the FBI Tampa Division’s report on the Orlando shooting, “Investigative Update Regarding Pulse Nightclub Shooting,” June 20, 2016, the following is the timeline of the shooting, based on Orlando Police Department (OPD) radio communication (times are approximate):
- 2:02 a.m.: OPD call transmitted multiple shots fired at Pulse nightclub.
- 2:04 a.m.: Additional OPD officers arrived on scene.
- 2:08 a.m.: Officers from various law enforcement agencies made entrance to Pulse and engaged the shooter.
- 2:18 a.m.: OPD SWAT (Special Weapons and Tactics) initiated a full call-out.
- 2:35 a.m.: Shooter contacted a 911 operator from inside Pulse. The call lasted approximately 50 seconds [….]
- 2:48 a.m.: First crisis negotiation call occurred lasting approximately nine minutes.
- 3:03 a.m.: Second crisis negotiation call occurred lasting approximately 16 minutes.
- 3:24 a.m.: Third crisis negotiation call occurred lasting approximately three minutes. […]
- 4:21 a.m.: OPD pulled an air conditioning unit out of a Pulse dressing room window for victims to evacuate. […]
- 4:29 a.m.: As victims were being rescued, they told OPD the shooter said he was going to put four vests with bombs on victims within 15 minutes. (An immediate search of the shooter’s vehicle on scene and inside Pulse ultimately revealed no vest or improvised explosive device.)
- 5:02 a.m.: OPD SWAT and OCSO Hazardous Device Team began to breach wall with explosive charge and armored vehicle to make entry.
- 5:14 a.m.: OPD radio communication stated that shots were fired.
- 5:15 a.m.: OPD radio communication stated that OPD engaged the suspect and the suspect was reported down.
The FBI report then says:
Based on OPD radio communications, there were no reports of shots being fired inside Pulse between the initial exchange of gunfire between responding officers and shooter, and the time of the final breach. During this time, the shooter communicated with an OPD 911 operator and an OPD crisis negotiator, and OPD radio communications reported that victims were being rescued.
Below is a screenshot I took of the above paragraph. (I cropped out the timeline, highlighted the paragraph with a red bracket, and painted the red arrow pointing to the time and date when I took the screenshot.)
In other words, according to the FBI, between 2:02 a.m. (when Mateen exchanged fire with Pulse security and police officers at the front door of the nighclub, before he entered the clu) and 5:02 a.m. when police breached the club’s walls and entered Pulse, NO SHOTS WERE FIRED INSIDE Pulse nightclub.
It now makes sense that the police had waited 3 hours before breaching the club. If Mateen indeed had shot people inside the club, it was unconscionable for the police to wait that long before entering — wounded victims would have bled to death. According to the FBI report, however, Mateen hadn’t shot anyone but was keeping some of the club patrons hostage in a bathroom, which led to police negotiating with him for 3 hours.
Here’s Judge Andrew Napolitano pointing out that according to the FBI report, no one died at Pulse until 5:13 a.m. that morning:
So who actually shot the victims? Here’s a clue, as reported by the Daily Mail on June 13, 2016:
He [Omar Mateen] first had a shootout with the off-duty officer at the club’s entrance.
Then two other officers arrived and the firing continued. […]
But authorities chose to hold off on letting the tactical units enter Pulse nightclub, where more than 100 people were shot.
[Orlando] Police Chief John Mina has also admitted that some of the victims may have been hit by officers’ gun fire.
All of which means either of two things actually happened:
- Omar Mateen didn’t intentionally kill or wound anyone. Rather, 49 people were killed and 53 wounded in the exchange of fire between the police and Mateen, some of whom by the police; or
- No one at Pulse, except Mateen, was killed or wounded.
And then, there’s a third possibility, which is that no one died, not even Mateen. Has anyone seen his death certificate, his body, his funeral?
In the event the FBI scrubs the report, here it is archived.
H/t FOTM‘s maziel, Kelleigh, cs, and Ken Russell.
For all the posts FOTM has published on the shooting, go to our “Orlando Gay-Club Massacre” page.