Officials in Orlando, Florida are giving more details about the law enforcement response to a mass shooting that left 50 people dead at the popular Pulse nightclub.
Orlando police Chief John Mina says an extra officer was working at the club in full uniform and the officer engaged with the shooter near an entrance.
Additional officers entered, and engaged the suspect in another gun battle.
The shooter, 29-year-old Omar Mateen, retreated to the bathroom.
Mina says, “At that time we were able to save and rescue dozens and dozens of people and get them out of the club.”
Officers then secured everything, and the SWAT team was brought in.
Mina says officers then set up for an explosive breach on the bathroom wall.
Mina says he made the decision to breach the wall, which created a hole through which dozens of clubgoers were rescued.
Then the suspect exited through the same hole, and engaged in another gunfight with officers.
Shooter Omar Mateen was then killed.
Before he died, Mateen called 9-1-1 from the scene to profess loyalty to an Islamic State Group leader.
The Islamic State’s radio has called the Orlando mass shooter “one of the soldiers of the caliphate in America.”
His ex-wife says he was “mentally unstable and mentally ill,” adding Mateen was bipolar and also had a history with steroids.
Sitora Yusifiy says Mateen was religious, but she saw no signs of radicalism.
She says in the four months they were together, he cut her off from her family and regularly beat her.
Yusifiy adds has had no contact with him for seven or eight years.
Mateen’s father Seddique says his son was just a regular guy who went to work and took care of his family.
He says he saw his son on Saturday and everything seemed normal.
A former Florida police officer who says he once worked with Mateen and described him as “unstable and unhinged.”
Daniel Gilroy told multiple news outlets that he worked with Mateen at the G45 security company.
Gilroy called him an angry, loud, profane man who used slurs for gay people, blacks, Jews and women.
Gilroy said Mateen also regularly made threats of violence, and he reported Mateen’s behaviour to his bosses.
Gilroy told The New York Times, “He talked about killing people all the time.”
And Gilroy wasn’t surprised when he learned of the massacre: He said, “I saw it coming.”
Officials say the families of the 49 victims from Sunday’s massacre have been notified.
Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer described the progress at news conference Monday morning.
He says that by 11 p.m. Sunday, all the bodies of the victims had been turned over to the medical examiner.
(with files from the Associated Press and Canadian Press)