What to Know
- An Orlando TV station says someone called them purporting to be the shooter
- The caller reportedly said he "did it for ISIS," then started speaking in Arabic
- The FBI did not confirm Omar Mateen, the gunman, was the caller
An Orlando TV station says the man who shot and killed 49 people inside a popular nightclub contacted them moments after opening fire early Sunday morning.
News 13's Matthew Gentili said he was staffing the station's phones as the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history unfolded a few blocks away at Pulse.
"I was receiving phone calls from viewers saying, 'What's going on? What's happening? What's happening in Orlando?" Gentili recalled Tuesday.
U.S. & World
Stories that affect your life across the U.S. and around the world.
At about 2:45 a.m., Gentili said he received a call from a man asking whether he had heard of the shooting. As the TV producer began to respond, the person on the other end of the phone interrupted Gentili.
"I'm the shooter. It's me. I am the shooter," the caller said.
Gentili said the man told him he "did it for ISIS" and then started speaking in Arabic before eventually hanging up the phone. NBC News has not independently confirmed News 13's report.
The station's managing editor, according News 13, confirmed the caller's phone number matched that of the gunman, identified as Omar Mateen.
Gentili was interviewed by the FBI, who would not confirm if it was indeed Mateen who he had spoken to.