The Orlando police have released nearly a dozen hours of new body camera footage on Wednesday from inside the Pulse nightclub, providing clarity into how the worst mass shooting in modern American history unfolded almost one year ago, ABC News reported.
The footage contains dramatic scenes of chaos as first responders arrive in attempts to save the injured and capture the perpetrator who claimed the lives of 49 people in the name of the Islamic State.
Just after 2 a.m. on June 12, 29-year-old Omar Mateen entered the club, armed with a military-style assault rifle and opened fire.
One officer, Graham Cage heard the call and jumped on his bike.
“I had a helmet, but a bicycle helmet,” Cage said. “It’s not gonna do a whole lot with that.”
Orlando Police officers direct family members away from a fatal shooting at Pulse Orlando nightclub in Orlando, Fla., Sunday, June 12, 2016.
Other officers responded to the emergency, forcing the shooter to retreat further into the club.
Police training requires that officers subdue the threat first, even if that means ignoring victims.
“A person reached up and asked for help, but at that point, we didn’t know where the shooter was, if he was detained if he was deceased, or what was going on,” said Kyle Medvetz, one of the police officers who responded. “So as much as I wanted to help, I could not help him until we know for sure the shooter was detained, contained or deceased.”
The shooter subsequently barricaded himself in the bathroom with several victims, which according to Major Mark Canty, who led the Orlando SWAT team, to change their strategy.
“This went quickly, very, very quickly from an active shooter to what we call a barricaded gunman to a hostage situation,” Canty said.
Law enforcement officials work at the Pulse gay nightclub in Orlando, Fla., following a mass shooting.
That decision has since been criticized since it would take about three hours for police to gain full control of the situation. Chief John Mina, however, said it was the right call.
“During that whole three hours, we were in there saving people from the dance floor, from dressing rooms, from the other bathroom,” Mina said. “We took 22 people out of the front bathroom. Once we were inside that club, there were no more gunshots until the final assault.”
The newly-released footage also shows officers encouraging victims to crawl out of the club, racing to the scene, talking about the victims inside, and the need for bomb dogs, the Orlando Sentinel reported.
“Hands up, both hands, put your hands up,” one officer says off camera. “Follow the sound of my voice. Come this way. Show me your [expletive] hands! I need you to crawl this way. Follow my light.”
President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden visit a memorial to the victims of the Pulse nightclub shooting, Thursday, June 16, 2016 in Orlando, Fla.
Another scene from the bright white hallways of Orlando Regional Medical Center captured the moment when officers stumbled upon a victim who had fit the description of the shooter.
“You, here, down the hall,” one officer yells, as the man ducks into a room. “Hey, hey, hey, where are you at? Come here! Let me see your hands!”
Off camera, the man cries out, “I’m shot.”
“I don’t care, [expletive] crawl to me right now,” the officer shouts back. “ Crawl to me right now. [Expletive]. Crawl out! Crawl out! Crawl out now!”
The camera then shows the man on the ground, cuffed, wearing a white sneaker on his right foot and a gunshot to his left foot.
It's later determined that he is a patient, and is brought to the ER.
A third scene highlights an interaction between a witness and Belle Osle Police Officer Jon-Paul Gargano, who ran back to his car at about 2:45 a.m. to grab a roll of paper towels from the trunk.
He found a woman sitting nearby on the sidewalk.
“Y'all gonna [expletive] shoot his [expletive]?” she asked.
“We can't, ma'am,” he responded.
“What do you mean, you can't?”
“We can't, there are more victims in there. We start to shoot we might shoot other people,” Gargano said, running back to his post in front of the club.
“[Expletive] go in there and shoot his [expletive], man,” she called after him.