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Police: We Were Told To Allow Orlando Shooter To Kill

Police were told to stand down as Orlando shooter killed 50 people at Pulse nightclub

Police officers who confronted the Orlando shooter have claimed that they were ordered to “stand down” for up to 30 minutes while Omar Mateen went on a killing spree. 

Six police officers arrived at the Pulse nightclub minutes after Omar Mateen opened fire on club goers, breaking through a large glass window and entering the club as the massacre was underway.

Msn.com reports:

In the first public accounting of those critical early minutes by an officer who actually went inside the club, Belle Isle police officer Brandon Cornwell, 25, said the ad-hoc team spent the first seconds inside “trying to locate exactly where the shooter was — we kept hearing people scream and shots fired.”

Cornwell said they never saw Mateen; he said the shooter had vanished inside the dimly lit club as Cornwell and the other officers followed the sounds of screams and echoing gunfire to the bathroom area where they presumed the gunman was now holed up. He said they aimed their assault rifles toward that area as the sounds of gunfire stopped. He said that they then followed orders to hold their position for what he described as “15 or 20 minutes — could’ve been longer” until the SWAT team arrived.

What is not entirely clear from Cornwell’s statements is whether the officers spent that entire period inside the club, guns aimed at the bathroom area, or whether they withdrew at some point to the outside of the club before SWAT arrived, leaving Mateen time to move freely about the club and possibly start shooting again. Cornwell declined to clarify this point among others, citing the ongoing investigation and instructions not to talk about such details.

He did not second-guess the decision to hold their position rather than attempt to go into the area where Mateen had hostages, or offer his own opinion on the matter.

“We just basically stayed there, waited for movement, and we just held our position until SWAT got there,” said Cornwell, 25, who never fired his weapon. “Once SWAT got there they told us to retreat, that they’d take over because we were not really in tactical gear — we were just in our police uniforms.”

As the FBI continues its investigation of the worst mass shooting in U.S. history, Cornwell and his fellow officers’ early standoff with the shooter — the second of three encounters between law enforcement and Mateen over more than three hours Sunday morning — is being scrutinized by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement’s Public Integrity Squad along with the other police encounters with the shooter. None of the officers involved have spoken publicly, though Cornwell and others are scheduled to be in attendance this afternoon when Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch holds a news conference on the shooting.

That Cornwell was even in the vicinity of the Pulse Nightclub at 2 a.m. Sunday was largely a matter of coincidence. The tiny Belle Isle Police Department, situated just south of Orlando in a sleepy community of pale houses and Spanish moss, has an agreement to assist the community of Edgewood, which is near the Pulse nightclub. Cornwell, a second-year police officer who served with the Army National Guard in Iraq, said he was helping with a traffic stop when he heard the call on his radio that shots had been fired at Pulse. He said he arrived “in 38 seconds.”

“It was a straight shot there and I hit every green light,” said Cornwell, who spoke with The Washington Post at Belle Isle’s City Hall in the presence of the Belle Isle police chief, who occasionally stopped him from offering too much detail, and two colleagues who also responded to the shooting but did not go inside the club.

Cornwell was one of the first seven or so police cars to arrive on the scene, where officers were getting out of their cars with their assault rifles, he said.

“Some ran towards the building, some stayed back with people running out,” he said. “There was tons of people running out of the club. I grabbed my assault rifle and ran toward the club. At this point the shooter is still actively shooting inside.”

Cornwell converged on the south side of the building near the main entrance with perhaps five other officers, all from the Orlando police department, which he referred to as OPD.

“There happens to be an OPD lieutenant commander who was there, and he says we’ve got to go in,” said Cornwell. “No one disagreed. One of the officers busted out one of those side windows” — it was approximately 10 feet tall — “and we just went in and went from there.”

He estimated that “no more than two minutes” had elapsed since they arrived, and they were now inside the club.

Cornwell said Mateen was nowhere to be seen. The club was dim — lit with a disco ball and colored lights — and quiet except for the sound of the shooter’s gunfire, screams and cries for help, Cornwell said.

“He was actively shooting,” he said. “I can’t say if he was targeting us. But he was still shooting in that location where he was at. There were bullet holes in the wall, so he had shot through the wall. But I couldn’t tell you if he was shooting at us.”

Cornwell and the other officers immediately began “clearing rooms” one by one — not knowing if there was more than one shooter — and trying to locate the source of the gunfire. The sound of the shots echoing all around the club made it difficult to tell exactly where it was coming from, he said. But fairly quickly — Cornwell said “within minutes” — officers located Mateen in the bathroom area.

At that point, he said, “we took up a tactical position by the bar standpoint in the middle of the club.” As he aimed his AR-15 assault rifle toward the bathroom door, he said, the shooting stopped. And it was then that the “15 or 20 minute” holding pattern began, he said.

Though Cornwell cannot recall exactly how he received his orders — whether it came via the radio or verbally in person — his clear understanding was that he and his fellow officers were to hold their position rather than attempt to go into the bathroom after the shooter.

Minutes passed as he kept aiming toward the bathroom, he said. He could hear people scream. There were people lying all over the floor of the club. He kept aiming, waiting for SWAT. More screams. He and the other officers held their position, focused on the bathroom, where he could see “some movement inside,” he said.

Asked whether he felt an urge to pursue the shooter at that point, Cornwell said, “I couldn’t tell you. I was following lieutenant’s command.”

At some point during the 15 to 20 minutes — it is unclear exactly when — Cornwell and the others in the group of first responders withdrew to the outside of the club, he said.

“We got word from higher up, and it was communicated to the OPD lieutenant that we needed to withdraw,” he said. “So we came back outside. And waited for SWAT. SWAT arrived. SWAT handled everything from there.”

It was only the first half hour or so of the ordeal.

Outside, Cornwell said he spent the next several hours helping to transport victims to ambulances. He arrived back at the Belle Isle police department Sunday afternoon, his uniform and all his equipment saturated with blood.

  • rcwarbirdbuilder

    What is with this phony staged shot of a wall with holes?.

  • WasIsAlwaysPali

    OK, first, to say there was shooting but being in there for let’s say 15 minutes without doing the JOB they were trained for in the first place shows that no shooting was occuring because ANY cop would have gone in. Why you say? Cause none of those cops knew that a Swat team was needed and never located the suspect in the first place to assets as we have seen many hold ups, a cop or cops arrive on site and asset the situation.

    Second, it is NOT USA worse massacre in history but its identical to who caused a masscare to be second in history. Just like the USA GOVERNMENT massacred Wounded Knee, they did same here. Mateen was NEVER in the club that night. This was another false flag attempt that as all false flags have done, kill the public , use media to start placing characters and cause another “gun control” agenda. The difference between Republicans and Democratics. Is Republicans aim high, they go after where the guarantee of filling their pockets comes in bundles, history has showed us more invading and bombing of other nations come from Republicans. Democratics, keep it close to home, they want ppl to work for nothing give nothing back and take to control so there is no unrest when Americans wake up. Democratics keep it close to the bar.

    There was never a shooter, but there was two shooters before and after Orlando that USA gov doesn’t want to tell you. Mateen and his father made a deal, father gets into the Afghan leadership, we seen this where america mostly democratics have helped place, Osama, Saddam, Ghadifhi, even Mubarek and SiSi in power. Mateen is on a long USA taxpayer paid vacation and in a few years with a little change of name and appearance he will pop up and no one would be the wiser.

    Ask yourself when we as Americans have access to Google and can find locations and view them like we are taken a stroll. How such places like Pulse has no cameras, street cameras, also 911 no cameras, Pentagon no cameras, San Bernardino no cameras. With all tech available even ISIS who has a twitter account is able to Get the best PR and still the so claimed highest technology USA claims it has, they not only won’t shut the twitter account but can’t physical locate where its coming from. Think ppl, think!!!

    There was never a gay Muslim homeland security under FBI shooter. There was a plot that was willing to kill and injury and yes, 20, 50, 49, it doesn’t matter. Some ppl died, others acted out, and some got lifetime paid vacations.

    Our enemy is in uniform, many are in suits and some live in mansions, all for benefiting the rich, because its better to scare (Demorcatics) the masses to submission or make money (republicans) to be in wars.

    Who loses? All of us, every ethnicity because goal has always been divide and conquer.

    • Tell_it_like_I_See_It

      Are you serious w’t enforce the ones on the books alreadyith that democRATic schtick? DemocRATS keep it close to home my arse. They are the most corrupt group that has ever walked this country. All they do is whine, moan, complain, steal, cheat, strip america of their rights, etc… , and thats just all before breakfast. The RATS are the ones filling their pockets. Take Killery and the missing billions from when she was playing secretary of state, Feinstein and the trillions she has put in her own pocket from awarding federal contracts to her husbands company. It never stops with those losers. GUN CONTROL doesnt have a damn thing to do with whats going on in todays society and thats all they are harping on. They have no clue what a damn gun IS let alone how to control it. Not a single new law on “gun control” will help one bit, FUK DEMS

    • runnindeer

      Well thought out and well said. Excellent points.

    • Suzie Snyder

      This makes sense. His wife disappeared too! The police were also told to stand down at the blm riots! Hummmmm

  • Jock Doubleday

    Bwahaha, a fully staged event. Never happened.

  • Billy S DuBose

    OMG! HORRIBLE! Immigration: For all of you youngsters out there, Immigration was virtually halted from 1924 until 1965, and was re-instituted in 1965 by JFK, mainly to build up the Democratic Party, and thus give Democrats an edge! This was not totally the reason, but largely the reason! Between 1924 and 1965 , Americans were not for immigration because this era encompassed the depression, WWI and WWII. We wanted three things: (1) security for our country (2) job protection, and (3) we wanted our American kids to inherit the America, their forefathers had fought and died for…….and not give our inheritance away to strangers who had no investment in the making of America. Yes, our Statue of Liberty states our origin, as Americans. We were the world’s discards and oppressed! However, this does not mean that, we, as Americans, are compelled to continue giving our country away to any and everyone that wants to come here……and it certainly doesn’t mean that we tax payers should be made to support new immigrants and refugees until they can afford to steal our jobs with Government assistance! We, as Americans, do have the right to refuse anyone we do not desire, or find not compatible with the American way of life. We need to keep in mind that every time we take an immigrant or refugee in to this country, we are depriving our kids and grand-kids of money, jobs, property, and another percentage of their political rights! We, as an individual American become less and less an influence on the future of America. It is my opinion that we stop all immigration, and return all Muslim refugees to their native country, because I , personally , am not willing to run the risk of Sharia Law stealing a life of freedom from my relatives and fellow Americans. We should take measures to insure that is never a possibility! Muslims do not mix with us……they make one demand after another until they get their way, or they fight, rape, and kill. I can not believe we are allowing everything our fathers and forefathers built and saved for us, to be systematically given to foreign , self declared enemies of America and Americans! We need to stand together and support Trump, to preserve freedom and the American way of life. As long as we are free and civil, we can vote for desired changes, but once we loose freedom, we have lost America and everything our forefathers sacrificed for. If Hillary has her way, she will continue Obama’s push to take in more and more of our enemies until we, as a nation, are paralyzed. She intends to increase refugees by 550%. We can not, we must not allow this to happen. Not to mention, her future Administration will use all measures militarily to safeguard Sharia, and the Muslim agendas. It is time our money goes to Americans! Our Vet.s,our military, our Sr.s, and our poor. We need to stop robbing these fixed income people to feed and support unwanted refugees……all the while increasing our National debt to supplement these programs. We, as Americans, have every right to discern right from wrong, good from bad, and affordable and not affordable. We need to start exercising those rights, before we lose them all together! Our only avenue for saving America is to vote Trump! Like his every move or not, he is the only one looking after “We The American People”! We must stand united!
    Steve DuBose’s photo.

    • Phoenix22

      A long winded hogwash, if you are not an indigenous person you are just a bloody immigrant lik e the rest , pull your head in and do not display your need for serious rehab…keep it personal and seek help.

      • runnindeer

        Huge difference in Legal Immigrant and ILLEGAL immigrant. That fact isn’t hogwash.There is no need for this so called Immigration for these Islamic people at this time or in this amount. This isn’t immigration, it is absolute invasion, and if you are too blind to see and too narrow minded to understand that fact, it is you that needs to seek mental health help.

        • http://www.coride.co Alex

          You are a nincompoop.

      • PO’d Patriot

        Phoenix22. Is 22 your age or your IQ?

  • Daniel Vincent Kelley

    I read on the day of the event, that it was 3 hours between the start of the shooting and when cops went in and shot the guy. That would make a 20 minute stand down a plausible necessity. 3 hours is a gift of certitude in destroying those left behind. I’m going to trust the 3 hour figure I originally read and view this nonsense as apologist bullshit trying to sell the corporate fascism as somehow sensible. What was acted out on the day of the event, is not what’s described in this version of the events. Cop camera’s should go live to the community in the midst of such an event, to contribute to people’s ability to decide what to do about whatever is being revealed by the video. That alone might eliminate these Federally Organized Terror Hoax Drills. This whole industry of crisis acting for policy salesmanship should be prosecuted for the treason against humanity that it is, that these actors be exterminated for their guilt in these widely injurious plots selling assaults on due process as a Federal Racket.

    • Daniel Vincent Kelley

      Why the pigs don’t want to broadcast their work for the tax payer is because 99% of what they do is illegitimate harassment. So, they would simply jail themselves eventually for their raging crime sprees, as they apply massive treachery of bullet riddle and cages and arbitrary dictum of equally damned goons claiming legitimacy and backing wretched assassins of the terror government that maintains itself by so much lies and propaganda and treachery against decent people.

  • Kim Smith

    THIS IS WHY WE CANNOT ALLOW THEM TO TAKE OUR SECOND AMENDMENT. THE POLICE CANNOT SAVE YOU…EVER. ALL THEY CAN DO IS INVESTIGATE YOUR RAPE, ASSAULT, OR DEATH. WHETHER IT IS A PUBLIC SHOOTER, RAPIST, OR HOME INVADER. WE ALL SHOULD BE CARRYING. I GREW UP IN THE 1960’S, IN ROCKLAND COUNTY NEW YORK. THIS IS A VERY LIBERAL DEMOCRATIC AREA. IN FACT, I DID NOT KNOW THERE WERE OTHER TYPES OF POLITICIANS BUT DEMOCRATS UNTIL I WAS 10 OR 11, BECAUSE EVERYONE IN THIS PART OF NY IS DEMOCRATIC. THAT BEING SAID, WE ALL GREW UP IN HOMES WITH GUNS. IN HIGH SCHOOL, THE BOYS WHO DROVE TRUCKS HAD GUN RACKS IN THE CABS WITH HUNTING RIFLES . I CAN REMEMBER BOYS SHOWING EACH OTHER THEIR NEW RIFLES, HUNTING EQUIPMENT, ETC, RIGHT IN THE SCHOOL PARKING LOT. NO ONE EVER SHOT ANYONE, OR EVEN THREATENED TO. I MOVED TO CT, IN 10TH GRADE, AND IT WAS THE SAME THERE TOO. ALSO, BOTH SCHOOLS OFFERED RIFLE CLUBS, WHERE YOU LEARNED HOW TO HANDLE WEAPONS SAFELY. WE NEED TO BRING THESE CLASSES BACK.

    WE WERE ALL RAISED, FROM VERY YOUNG AGES, ( 3 OR 4 YEARS OLD), WE WERE SHOWN WHAT GUNS COULD DO. WE WERE ALL TAUGHT TO RESPECT WEAPONS AND NEVER USE THEM IN ANGER OR AS A TOY. IF MORE KIDS WERE TAUGHT GUN RESPONSIBILITY, THEY WOULD BE SAFER, AND IF MORE PEOPLE HAD GUN PERMITS TO CARRY, THESE SHOOTINGS WOULD STOP.

    THE POLICE CANNOT AND WILL NOT SEND OFFICERS INTO AN ACTIVE SHOOTER SITUATION. FIRST THEY SECURE THE AREA, AND THEN ENTER WITH TACTICAL TRAINED OFFICERS. AS SHOWN HERE, THIS ALL TAKES TIME FOR THESE OFFICERS TO DRIVE TO THE SCENE AND DETERMINE THE SITUATION. NO OFFICER IS ALLOWED TO ACT LIKE CLINT EASTWOOD AND BE A COWBOY, AS MUCH AS THEY MIGHT WANT TO. IF YOU ARE HOME, ITS ALSO GOOD TO HAVE A DOG, FOR THEY WILL WARN YOU IF THERE IS AN INTRUDER.

  • Surly Curmudgen

    Even money says the official giving the order to stand down was a Democrat.

  • Annette Collins

    This is bullshit… the Orlando PD did an awesome job and risked their lives to
    save as many as possible. He had hostages and they HAD to wait for a
    negotiator and the SWAT team as well as get set up for sniper shots….so screw the jerk
    that made up this post!

  • USMC_Daddy

    Interesting as of all the LEO’s and military I know, I’ve never heard any of them refer to their “assault rifle”, merely rifle. Sounding like a propaganda piece.

  • PO’d Patriot

    Sean, get your damn facts straight. This is NOT the worst mass shooting in US history. Learn history! Almost 300 were killed at Wounded Knee on the Pine Ridge reservation by government officials, many women and children. Next, the killings at Waco, TX were worse than Orlando. You don’t look very old but at least put TRUTH in your articles.

  • Jimmy Wilson

    Sounds like they did the best they could in a dimly lit nightclub with no tactical gear trying to pinpoint the shooter . They have SWAT team’s for a reason . To handle situations like this . 15 to 20 minutes or so is nothing . Time seems to stand still but actually flies . This is no conspiracy or set up . It was someone sick of seeing homosexuals doing sick things out in public in front of everyone . They should keep it behind closed doors . I also don’t like or trust cops but have to agree that they did the best they could .