Rick Scott, Dyer, federal investigators and prosecutors. Sunday when an off-duty Orlando police officer at the club initially confronted Mateen near an entrance and the two engaged in a gun battle, Mina said.
When more police responded, additional officers entered the club and traded fire with the gunman."At that time we were able to save and rescue dozens and dozens of people and get them out of the club," Mina said.
During the investigation, Mateen was placed on the FBI’s terrorist screening database, an official said, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss an investigation.
They have also obtained access to at least one email account, an official said, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss the investigation.Nothing has come up yet suggesting ties to terrorist groups, but the official cautioned that the investigation was in its early stages.Many who had known Mateen continued to come forward, sharing recollections.A high school acquaintance recalled that Mateen was a “regular dude” until the Sept. Zirkle said he and other students warned Mateen that he needed to stop.“We will not be defined by the act of a cowardly hater,” Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer said.
“We will be defined by how we respond.”Police responding to the nightclub attack had attempted to negotiate with Mateen for hours, Police Chief John Mina said, rescuing dozens of people and confronting the shooter only when he mentioned explosives and they believed “further loss of life was imminent.”Mina outlined the police response during a Monday briefing near the nightclub, flanked by Florida Gov.11 terrorist attacks.“He started acting crazy, joking around the fact that 9/11 happened, making plane noises on the school bus and pretending he was slamming into the building,” said Robert Zirkle, who rode the school bus every day with Mateen in Stuart, Fla., 15 years ago.“He was happy that Americans were dying. I don’t know if he was always a Muslim radical, but he was excited, hyped up. “We told him if he didn’t stop making noises, we were going to beat him up.”Zitkle, who now lives in Tennessee, was a freshman at Martin County High School at the time. He was a ‘Seinfeld’ kind of guy.”The shooting dominated the presidential campaign Monday.Mateen, he said, attended Spectrum Alternative School, a separate public school.“He was really out there,” he said of Mateen. He had people who were cordial with him or would ask him how he was doing. Democrat Hillary Clinton called for stricter gun control and Republican Donald Trump called for tighter immigration rules. You can see where people were dragged,” said Patty Sheehan, Orlando’s first openly gay city commissioner, pointing toward the building and grimacing. Sheehan knows the owner of the club and a bartender who witnessed the shooting and described to her how it unfolded.We hope that our fellow Americans will not let fear become disabling,” Comey said.He added that fear “is what these savages want.”FBI agents scrambled Monday to recover data from Mateen’s electronic media — cellphones, computers and other devices — hoping to find clues to what sparked the massacre at the nightclub, according to current and former FBI officials.Mina defended the decision to wait and attempt to negotiate with the shooter before police finally forced their way into the building. We believe we saved many, many lives."Mateen bought both of the guns used in the attack, and a third weapon was recovered from Mateen’s car, said Regina Lombardo, a special agent with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.