Texts of shooter's police exchanges to be released

2016-06-19 19:24
(AP)

(AP)

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Washington - US Attorney General  Loretta Lynch said on Sunday that the authorities would release "limited transcripts" of Orlando gunman Omar Mateen and police negotiators' telephone conversations during his attack at a gay nightclub that left 49 people dead.

Lynch said the transcripts include Mateen's pledge of allegiance to the Islamic State group and what he claimed his motives were for "committing this horrific act.

"He talked about American policy in some ways," she said.

But Lynch said the transcript would cover only portions of the telephone exchanges with police negotiators so as "to avoid revictimising those who went through this horror."

Mateen, a 29-year-old Muslim security guard armed with a semi-automatic rifle and a handgun, stormed into the Pulse nightclub on June 12 in Orlando, raking the crowd with gunfire.

The attack then turned into a three hour hostage-taking that ended with a police SWAT team retaking the venue by force and shooting Mateen dead.

Act of hate

Mateen, described by his ex-wife as physically abusive and given to fits of anger, appears to have had mixed motives.

His father said Mateen had been upset at the sight of a gay couple kissing, but other witnesses said he had been a repeat patron at Pulse and used gay dating apps.

Alongside that was a history of FBI investigations into him for possible Islamic extremism.

Lynch called the Orlando massacre "an act of terrorism and an act of hate, targeted against a community, the LGBT community, the Latino community."

However, she said Mateen didn't get into his feelings about gays in his exchanges with police.

"So we're still exploring why he chose this particular place to attack," she said.

Read more on:    us  |  orlando shooting

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