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ORLANDO, Fla. — Officials released audio recordings of the Pulse nightclub gunman talking to police dispatchers and negotiators after a judge ordered they be made public Monday.
Circuit Judge Margaret Schreiber ordered the calls made by shooter Omar Mateen during the June massacre be released immediately during a hearing in Orlando Monday, but said she won’t rule on releasing other 911 calls until she has listened to them. Attorneys for the City of Orlando and attorneys for The Associated Press and over two dozen other news outlets, as well as family members of some of the 49 victims who died, testified at the hearing.
The city and the news outlets have been fighting over the release of all the 911 calls about the worst mass shooting in modern U.S. history. City officials have released two-thirds of the calls, but refused to release over 200 calls placed to and from the nightclub during the three-hour massacre on June 12. Media groups want them released so the public can evaluate the police response, but the City of Orlando said they depict suffering and shouldn’t be made public, although they did release transcripts of the calls.
Before the ruling, the hearing also served as a forum of sorts for family members to express their frustration over the lack of information released about the investigation. Many of the half dozen family members and their representatives said they want more information about what happened. The FBI has offered no indication of when the probe into the shooting that also left 53 people wounded will be done.