The City of Orlando has released a cache of emergency phone calls from the night of the June 12 shooting at the Pulse nightclub, which left 49 people dead.
The 23 released calls were made to the Orlando’s police and fire departments, who were at the time trying to coordinate a response to initial reports of gunfire at Pulse.
The phone calls to dispatchers from Orlando FD mostly involved attempts to send people to help provide care for the victims. The biggest concern, according to the calls, was whether or not police had secured the area. Other calls were from reporters asking for information about the victims and redirecting callers to Orlando PD.
Police received calls from the friends and family of people who were in the club. One caller said that his friend was hiding from the shooter but that his mother was shot in the shoulder.
“We don’t know what to tell him,” the caller said, crying. “He said he can see the shooter. The shooter’s still in the building.”
The dispatcher tried to reassure the caller by informing him that 15 police officers were on the scene and advising that his friend stay quiet and low to the ground.
“I just want my friend to be okay,” the caller said.
The longest conversation with Orlando PD’s non-emergency line was with the brother of a woman who had suffered a gun shot in the torso and the leg who, according to the caller, was “losing a lot of blood” and was hiding in a restroom. The man, whose name was redacted, spoke extensively with the dispatcher and gave her information that he received from his sister over text, including how many people were in the restroom with her and what the shooter was doing in real-time. The woman’s name was also redacted.
Aside from names, many of the calls contain heavy redactions, information law enforcement deemed exempt from public record laws. Many of the files from the Orlando FD cache provided little to no information at all, including one that was a five-minute long redaction followed by a brief conversation in which a dispatcher informing a caller that she needed to call Orlando Regional Medical Center for more information on her fiancée, who was shot at the nightclub. Another file only included 30-second audio of a ringing phone.
It is unclear why Orlando would release phone calls that provide virtually no information to the public.
The calls that have been released so far, in addition to other information related to the shooting, are publicly available on the City of Orlando website. The city said it is still reviewing the remaining calls to “determine which can be released, and which calls or parts of calls are confidential and exempt” from public records laws.
This is the second public release of phone calls by Orlando after the FBI said that the calls “no longer need to be protected as part of the active criminal investigation” into the shooting.
The Associated Press and other media organizations, including Knight News, have been suing for the release of the phone calls, including one which authorities allege that the shooter, Omar Mateen, pledged allegiance to the Islamic State. The FBI has only released the transcript of that call, and it is not known if Orlando plans to release the audio in a future cache.
This is a developing story. Check back for more updates on this story.