Orlando massacre: Mayor explains delay sending paramedics to club

2016-06-15 17:33
Mourners embrace as they visit a makeshift memorial for the victims of the Pulse Orlando nightclub massacre. (David Goldman, AP)

Mourners embrace as they visit a makeshift memorial for the victims of the Pulse Orlando nightclub massacre. (David Goldman, AP)

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Orlando - An official says the Orlando shooter's threats that he had strapped explosives onto hostages and club-goers' belief that he had explosive vests caused a delay of "significant time" in sending paramedics into the nightclub.

Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer said on Wednesday that shooter Omar Mateen falsely told negotiators that he was strapping explosives onto four hostages, and club-goers trapped inside thought he had explosive vests, based on texts they sent and remarks to 911 dispatchers.

No explosives were found in the club. A battery pack that SWAT members initially thought could be an explosive ended up being a fire alarm or piece of an exit sign.

Dyer said he didn't know exactly how long a delay that caused.

Officials have said 11 victims either died at hospitals or on their way to hospitals.

Dyer also revealed that the killer drove around the Orlando area the night before the mass shooting.

He said Mateen drove around on Saturday night before he opened fire at the Pulse club about 02:00 on Sunday.

"What I know concretely is that he was driving around that evening and visited several locations," Dyer said.

When asked exactly where Mateen visited, and whether the locations included theme parks as reported in some media stories, Dyer said, "I think it's been pretty accurately depicted on the news."

He did not give further details.

Read more on:    us  |  orlando shooting

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