Officers waited for SWAT at Orlando Pulse Shooting

Orlando Pulse early in Massacre
Early response outside the Pulse from Cell Phone Video

By Dean Weingarten

Dean Weingarten
Dean Weingarten

Arizona – -(Ammoland.com)- Details are emerging about the Orlando Pulse Massacre.  It is clear that some of the first impressions were false.

First, there was not any initial exchange of fire inside of the club.  Officers did not fire at the murderer in the club, or he at them, until the last few minutes, three hours later, when SWAT officers broke into the bathrooms through a wall.

There was an initial exchange of gunfire, but it was outside of the club.  The off duty police officer/security officer quickly disengaged as the murderer entered the club while firing.  It is precisely the scenario that John Lott has often predicted.  If a security officer is known, a person planning a mass killing will determine a way to take them out with a surprise attack, find a way to bypass them, or avoid them.

Second, there was some time from the initial shooting until police mounted an armed response.  The police response was very quick.  Additional officers arrived at the scene, formed up, broke out a large window, and went in.  But it still took time.  It appears about six minutes passed from the initial shots until the police entered the Pulse club.  During that period, the murderer was shooting and killing people inside the club.  The shooting continued as the police entered.

Link to video from cell phone outside of the club, early in the shooting

Once in the club, the officers could not locate the murderer.  They were uncertain how many there might be.  They continued to hear shots, and determined that the shooter was in the bathroom area.  They did not shoot at the murderer.  It does not appear that he fired at them; and it does not seem that they “drove him into the bathroom area”.

Then they were ordered to wait for the SWAT team.  It took about 15-20 minutes for SWAT to get there.  We do not know if more shots were fired during that period.

Here is the timeline put together by the Daily Mail. From dailymail.co.uk:

2:02am – Sunday, June 12 – Suspect Omar Mateen tries to enter Pulse nightclub armed with assault rifle and and handgun and is spotted by a security guard.
The two exchange fire outside the club – but Mateen manages to enter the nightclub, holding 320 people, while still firing.
First 911 call received by Orlando Police Department.
2:04am – First police officers, including Brandon Cornwell, arrive at the scene.
2:08am – FBI says officers entered the club and ‘engaged' the shooter. 
2:09am – Pulse nightclub posts a message to their Facebook desperately telling those inside ‘Everyone get out of pulse and keep running'.
2:35am – Mateen calls 911 and pledges allegiance to ISIS and Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. 
4:21am – Police rip out an air conditioning unit, creating a hole through which some people escape.
4:29am – Rescued victims tell police the shooter said he was going to put four vests with bombs on hostages within 15 minutes.
5.02am – Three hours after the first shooting began, a SWAT team use armored vehicle and explosives to breach the bathroom wall. SWAT officers manage to free 30 hostages who dashed to safety.
5:15am – The shooter is shot at and is confirmed as being ‘down'. 
8:00am – Officials with the FBI deem the incident to be ‘domestic terrorism'.


Here is an account by Officer Brandon Cornwell. He is the only officer who went inside the club to give a public comment so far.  From washingtonpost.com:

ORLANDO — After an initial burst of fire between Omar Mateen and a security guard at the Pulse nightclub, a group of five or six police officers arrived on the scene within minutes, broke through a large glass window and entered the club as the killing of 49 people was underway inside, according to a Belle Isle, Fla., police officer who was among the first responders.

Officer Brandon Cornwell, 25, said the ad-hoc team spent the first seconds in the dimly lit club “trying to locate exactly where the shooter was — we kept hearing people scream and shots fired.”

He and the other officers followed the sounds to the bathroom area, where Mateen was now holed up. But instead of entering the bathroom, the officers aimed their assault rifles toward the area and were told by commanders to hold their position as the sounds of gunfire stopped, according to Cornwell. And so they waited “15 or 20 minutes — could’ve been longer” — until the SWAT team arrived, he said. Cornwell never saw Mateen.

This is worth noting in discussing the massacre. Those opposed to armed self defense have claimed that security confronted the shooter inside the club, but it made no difference, as they were unable to stop him.  What seems likely, with Cornwell's report, is that no armed person confronted the shooter in the club until the Swat Team broke in through the wall in the back.

The shooter was ready to engage the security at the entrance of the club, and was able to shoot his way in.  It would be several minutes later that armed police entered the Pulse.

If any of the patrons inside the club had been armed, there appear to be many times when the shooter could have been engaged and the death toll reduced.

All of the details and timing will eventually be made public.  The time of every gun shot is likely to be analysed.  The multiple communications, 911 calls and police response insure that a record of the situation can be put together, but it will take time to decipher it.  Numerous survivors should be interviewed and their stories added to the mix.

In order to fight in these sort of incidents, it is important to understand how they happen in reality.  Six minutes is a long time for a person with a defensive pistol to draw it, identify the threat, and engage.

©2016 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.

Link to Gun Watch

About Dean Weingarten;

Dean Weingarten has been a peace officer, a military officer, was on the University of Wisconsin Pistol Team for four years, and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1973. He taught the Arizona concealed carry course for fifteen years until the goal of constitutional carry was attained. He has degrees in meteorology and mining engineering, and recently retired from the Department of Defense after a 30 year career in Army Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation.

  • 22 thoughts on “Officers waited for SWAT at Orlando Pulse Shooting

    1. Shows POLICE are not there to protect you. Only YOU can really protect you and your property . Disarmament only serves victimization of Americans. The right to Bear Arms does not end at state borders , nor should they end at bar doors if your willing to be responsible with a firearm.

    2. Sounds like the same ‘tactics’ they used in Bengazi? Only more Americans died in Florida.

    3. Thanks Dean.
      I tried to find and listen to the 911 Dispatch, and Officer communications for this incident, to no avail.
      From the information you provide, this incident has one obvious thing in common with the Colorado Movie mass shooting. Decisions by Police and other Authorities, resulted in a much larger death toll than was necessary. Serious gun shot wounds often involve what is called the “Magic Hour”. There is a point of blood loss which if passed, results in mortality, even when Shock Trauma makes every effort to save a victim. One can only wonder how many victims needlessly died of their wounds in the nearly three hours before the incident ended.
      As a LEO you understand the unwritten rule that governs most on the job encounters. This being, that, whatever happens, the Officer makes it home alive to his family at the end of the shift. This is certainly not to imply that Officers won’t risk their lives to save the public. A great many will, and have. But the above unwritten rule is very much a consideration in many incidents, especially in barricade situations.
      In the movie theater shooting, I listened to a Fire Chief direct all Paramedic Units away from the shooting scene, even after it was declared safe by the Police. I listened Officers inside the theater begging over the radio for Paramedics while wounded people were beginning to die all around them. I heard a desperate call for all Officers with Cruisers to bring them up to entrances so that victims could be transported in them to the Hospitals. All this while a dozen ambulances sat idle in an adjoining parking lot with orders to stay where they were. It was all due to one Man. The Senior Fire Chief, who gave those orders while in route to the scene, and refused multiple radio request to rescind them, even after and dispatcher nervously reminded him that the Police had declared the location safe.
      No mater how practiced the Responders are at handling these mass casualty events, all it takes is a bad decision by the top guy, and many people needlessly die.
      Gun Free Zones need to be ended, once and for all!
      If alcohol is being serves on the premises, an designated CCW, like a designated driver can volunteer to be there armed, and to not consume alcohol on that occasion.

    4. Reasonable controls ,common sense gun laws, magazine limits .Bullshit .Those dogs don’t hunt. Repeal the 1934,1968,1986 gun control acts.All assaults on unalienable rights. We are 2 country’s sharing a common language. We should be all done in genuflecting to the dictates of the whims of tyrants on a local,state ,federal basis. Despised by the despicable is a badge of honor.

    5. Jesus, so now we can’t even remotely count on the cops to help us and do their jobs, they sit back and wait for the big, bad SWAT to come and all of that hoop-lah. I don’t know, but it doesn’t sound very good to me. People are being killed and bleeding out in there and then they sit tight.

    6. Training since Columbine has been as soon as three (3) officers are on scene go in and stop the shooter. They way things are going right now no one wanted to make the decision to go in and kill this scumbag, they were more worried about the fallout from taking action than they were about the victims.

      1. What has happened in this country…my God yet they want to make it so hard for us to get guns for our own protection,etc etc…If/when things really get crazy, don’t think for 1 silly second that the cops are a coming to help you jack, good luck with that noise.

    7. Let’s say there are several untrained armed civilians in the dimly lit club. They’re as likely to shoot other civilians or each other or be taken out by the gunman. When police enter they won’t know if the additional shooters are accomplices. Trained police were directed to wait for properly equipped Swat.

      We will never solve the issue of gun violence simply by identifying persons at risk or profiling. Right now most support the right to own guns. Its time to become proactive and accept reasonable controls with an objective of reducing gun violence, including in urban areas. Limits on gun, ammo calibre and clip types, an excise tax on guns and ammo. Controls on ammo to avoid accumulations of large caches. Failure to act responsibly will lead to a determination of precedence to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness over the rights of gun owners.

      1. Willy, we will never solve the issue of violence. It is part of the human condition. We will never be able to minimize the impact of that part of the human condition on our greater society if we continue to anthropomorphize objects and ignore the causes of violence. Gun violence as a concept and gun control as a solution are sound bites. They are simple, popular, and superficial ideas that, in the absence of close inspection, seem to address the issue. If the issue is “Gun Violence”, then “Gun Control” is the solution. The issue is violence, the solution to violence in society is REALLY difficult to address. “Gun control” can’t be proven to be effective in reducing violence in society because objects don’t cause violence. Various “Object Violence” control schemes have reduced the amounts of “Object Violence” in reported statistics but have not affected the overall rate of violence. Banning a style of self loading rifle and limiting the capacity of a magazine is doing “Something” but is NOT doing ANYTHING to address the issues of violence in society. Aside from being our own worst enemy and predator, violence is linked to Status, Esteem, Poverty, Education, Opportunity, Mores (ˈ/môrāz/ noun-the essential or characteristic customs and conventions of a community), Morality, Spirituality, Community cohesion, Security, and many other contributing factors. Politicians banning a style of rifle (that is not often used to hurt people in the US) and taking credit for addressing violence are lying to you and to themselves. Lifting one another up, teaching each other skills and setting up the conditions for each of us to succeed, AND, making sure that the least among us and the Ill and infirm have access to the care that they need, including those that may not have the mental capacity or ability to comprehend violence. Focus your energy there, focus on preserving the control of your communities, do not let those that are elected to serve us instruct us on the value and definition of our inalienable rights.

      2. Your comment, “…They’re as likely to shoot other civilians or each other…” is a wild guess. Perhaps you’re projecting. By furthering the myth that public safety results from widespread restrictions on the sale and ownership of firearms, you’re simply surrendering to the jihadist. And along the way to your Utopian dream, a few nuts and felons also will injure and kill a few unarmed citizens. Fact is, this deranged cretin chose his target carefully. He had to because he knew Florida is home to 887,000 concealed carry licensees. If he thought 6.2 percent (Florida’s concealed carry licensees) of the Pulse patrons were armed, about 20 of them — or even 10, he might have chosen another target…perhaps Disney World or a school or a church where crowds aren’t allowed to be armed. You should read the poignant story of Suzanna Gratia Hupp. Recall she told Chuck Schumer and the boys, “The Second Amendment is not about duck hunting, and I know I’m not going to make very many friends saying this, but it’s about our right, all of our right to be able to protect ourselves from all of you guys up there.” It’s OK with us if you wish to be an unarmed victim. But don’t tell us we’ll be safer if we turn in our guns.

      3. I guess Willy you simply don’t GET IT !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! the bad guys/girls don’t obey ANY LAWS, SUGGESTIONS OR ANYTHING ELSE. and by the way, stop with the “GUN VIOLENCE” moniker. IT’S VIOLENCE, period. Deadly violence. WAKE UP dude.

      4. You are dead wrong. Training since Columbine is as soon as three officers arrive go in and stop the shooter ASAP.

    8. 2:35am – Mateen calls 911 and pledges allegiance to ISIS and Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
      4:21am – Police rip out an air conditioning unit, creating a hole through which some people escape.

      This has to have been the longest two hours of any hostages life. What in the Sam Hell were the cops doing during this time? Didn’t the SWAT team have night vison equipment? Something is not making sense here!

      1. Then why don’t you and the author become police officers and show us all how it SHOULD be done? Put up or shut up. P.S. Were YOU at the scene?

        1. Thank you Clark Kent. It always amazes me when so many experts come forward, crawl out of the woodwork after a shooting.

          1. Tony – yep no one should use their brain and see that people were being carried towards the club………. doesn’t take expert to figure out That’s Not Right….

            Go look for yourself….. sheeple

            https://vimeo.com/172326248
            (Take out space before com)

        2. So it takes 3 hours to get their sh!t together before they stormed the club?? I wasn’t at the scene but 3 hours…. come on man! Protocol seems to be the issue here. This is not a traffic stop gone bad. It didn’t take the Germany Police 3 hours to storm and kill the shooter. This country has made everyone PC even those chose who protect us.

    9. Wait…..there’s gunfire going off and they Post to facebook to get out…..really
      Stop read text when gunfire is going off…..

      Id like to also know why a video with 2 people being carried back towards the club with no one else on the street and no blood no moaning and it just happens to be the guy I saw on tv being interviewed with the bright red tennis shoes and no shirt….. I think I saw it played on tv first and then some guy points out their heading towards the club and points out the sign where you see a mass of police/paramedics lights flashing yet only these 6 people and heading towards club (on other side of street across from dunkin doughnuts) if he had to be carried your telling me they are heading back yet everyone else from club is no where to be seen…..

      1. ANOTHER GOVERNMENT PRODUCTION PUT UP SHOW THEN GET THEN RESPONSE THEY WANT. YOU KNOW , NEVER WASTE A GOOD WHEN YOU PRODUCE IT.

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