911 Calls: 'Crazy' Gunfire in Pulse Nightclub | NBC 10 Philadelphia
Orlando Nightclub Massacre

Orlando Nightclub Massacre

Coverage of the Orlando nightclub massacre, June 12, 2016

911 Calls: 'Crazy' Gunfire in Pulse Nightclub

    processing...

    NEWSLETTERS

    Getty Images
    FBI agents investigate near the damaged rear wall of the Pulse Nightclub where Omar Mateen allegedly killed at least 50 people on June 12, 2016 in Orlando, Florida.

    A mother called 911 for help as she texted with her son, who was trapped inside the Pulse nightclub. A sister told a dispatcher that her 20-year-old brother also was trapped, in a bathroom at the gay club, and that "he said there were a lot of dead people."

    People were texting, calling and video-chatting for help during the mass shooting of 49 people in June, and their loved ones frantically called police dispatchers in turn, according to numerous audio recordings of 911 calls released Tuesday by the Orange County Sheriff's Office.

    The sheriff's office took overflow 911 calls when Orlando Police Department dispatchers were inundated during the worst mass shooting in modern U.S. history. The recordings show sheriff's dispatchers mostly got busy signals when they tried to transfer calls back to police.

    The Orlando Police Department has yet to release its 911 calls. A dozen news media companies including The Associated Press are suing for access to these public records as well as the communications between gunman Omar Mateen and the Orlando Police Department, during which authorities say Mateen pledged allegiance to the Islamic State.

    The media groups argue that the recordings will help the public evaluate the police response, but the city of Orlando claims the recordings are exempt under Florida public records law, and that the FBI insists releasing them may disrupt the ongoing investigation.

    Mateen was killed by a police SWAT team after firing at the officers, ending a standoff that had lasted for more three hours. In addition to the fatalities, 53 club goers were hospitalized.

    Returning Marine Meets Son For First Time

    [NATL] Returning Marine Meets Son For First Time
    A Tennessee Marine returning from deployment met his newborn son for the first time Thursday. (Published 3 hours ago)

    The sheriff's dispatchers sound calm and sympathetic on the 911 calls. They took down names and identifying traits or clothes, and told callers to tell their relatives or friends to stay in place until officers and deputies at the scene could rescue them.

    "What I need him to do is just stay where he is and don't have him do anything or go anywhere until deputies or officers clear the area," a dispatcher told the mother who was texting her son in the bathroom, about 20 minutes after the shooting started. "Tell him to stay tight and just follow the officers and deputies' directions."

    Mom Thwarts Attempted Kidnapping

    [NATL-DFW] Mom Thwarts Attempted Kidnapping

    One Albuquerque, New Mexico mother got the shock of a lifetime when she turned around just in time to see a complete stranger running away with one of her children.

    Quick thinking and protective, the mother was able to chase down 29-year-old Dustin Sherman and wrestle her child from his arms.

    "He was carrying her like he was carrying his own child," the mother said. "He was holding her close you know trying to hold her really close to him and that bothered me really bad."

    Sherman was arrested, and authorities say he has a criminal history that includes battery on a peace officer as well as domestic violence charges.Read more from KOB here.

    (Published 4 hours ago)

    More than an hour and a half after the shooting started, one man called dispatchers a second time, clearly frustrated that his ex-girlfriend hadn't been rescued from a bathroom where she was trapped with almost 20 others, including two dead people.

    "People are shot and dead ... Are you guys sending anybody there?" the man said. "They are all scared to death, and they all think they are going to die."

    Another dispatcher urged a caller not to call or return a text from his friend, who had been shot three times and was hiding in a bathroom.

    "Because if he has the phone ringing, making noise or something, we don't know anything about anything, so at this point, we don't want any noise around,'' the dispatcher said.

    Airlines Reading, Responding to Social Media Rants

    [NATL-DFW] Airlines Reading, Responding to Social Media Rants
    A new study says airlines are reading posts made by customers complaining over delayed or canceled flights and poor service, and are responding to those messages. Dallas-based Southwest Airlines has a team tracking Twitter, Facebook and other online sites 24 hours a day. When a customer vents about a problem, a representative reaches out to them. "The approach is really how can we help, wait a minute we hate to hear that.... so what is going on, give us some information and let's see what we can do to straighten this out," said Lisa Goode, with Southwest Airlines. Social media teams help airlines by rebooking customers or by helping keep them more calm by relaying information when problems crop up. (Published Thursday, Sept. 29, 2016)

    A neighbor also called, saying panicked patrons were banging on his door, pleading for shelter and hiding behind his car. It was one of the first 911 calls that night, and without knowing the extent of the attack, a dispatcher told him to keep his door locked.

    "Gunshots were going crazy," said a patron who left the club right before the shooting started.

    Summer Camps For Adults Throughout the Year

    [NATL] Summer Camps For Adults Throughout the Year
    Fall may have officially arrived, but the summer camp experience is still going for some. More and more adults are reliving the summer camp experience during fall and spring. More than a million adults a year are indulging in camps according to the American Camp Association. (Published Thursday, Sept. 29, 2016)