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US to Release Partial Transcripts of Orlando Shooter's Calls

  • Ken Bredemeier

Suspected Orlando shooter Omar Mateen. (Orlando Police Department)

Suspected Orlando shooter Omar Mateen. (Orlando Police Department)

U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch says that authorities on Monday will release partial transcripts of three calls Omar Mateen made to police as he killed 49 people at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida a week ago.

The country's top law enforcement official told NBC's Meet the Press show Sunday that the written accounts — not the actual recordings of conversations Mateen carried on with police negotiators trying to end his siege — would detail authorities' attempts to learn "as much as we could about his motivations and actions leading up to this attack."

She said police negotiators, talking with Mateen as he carried out the attack at the Pulse nightclub, were trying to determine "who he was, where he was, why he was doing this."

Law enforcement officials gather outside the Pulse nightclub, the scene of Sunday's mass shooting, June 15, 2016, in Orlando, Fla.

Law enforcement officials gather outside the Pulse nightclub, the scene of Sunday's mass shooting, June 15, 2016, in Orlando, Fla.

Authorities have previously said that the 29-year-old Mateen pledged allegiance to Islamic State and its leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, during the calls on Orlando's 911 emergency line. Lynch said Mateen's vows of fealty to Islamic State would not be part of the transcripts released Monday.

LGBT

She told CBS' Face the Nation show that authorities are "very concerned" about Mateen's attacks on the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender community, many of them among those killed and the 53 wounded in the three-hour rampage early on June 12.

Members of Capital City Pride and others from the LGBT community hold up letters spelling out "Orlando" to honor of the recent shooting at a gay nightclub days earlier before the raising of a rainbow flag in front of the Washington state Capitol, June 15,

Members of Capital City Pride and others from the LGBT community hold up letters spelling out "Orlando" to honor of the recent shooting at a gay nightclub days earlier before the raising of a rainbow flag in front of the Washington state Capitol, June 15,

Mateen's father has said that his son had voiced disgust recently at seeing men kissing in Miami, another Florida city, yet some acquaintances of Mateen say he frequented the nightclub where he carried out the attack and visited gay dating sights on the internet.

In an interview with CNN's State of the Union show, Lynch called the mayhem "an act of terrorism and an act of hate, targeted against a community, the LGBT community, the Latino community."

But she said that Mateen did not discuss his feelings about gays during his calls to police.

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

Church bells rang at 2 a.m. Sunday in Orlando to mark the moment the attack started a week ago.

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