ORLANDO, Fla. – A Pulse patron hiding in a bathroom during a rampage inside the Orlando nightclub tried to calm more than a dozen other people trapped with him and reassured them that they would be rescued, according to new 911 audio recordings released Tuesday.
The 911 calls show the unidentified man trying to encourage others around him as he talks to a police dispatcher during the worst mass shooting in modern U.S. history. To distract one patron from the pain of her gunshot wound, the man asks her to tell him about herself.
"We've made it this far. We've got it. We've got it," the man can be heard saying to the other trapped patrons. "Hang in there."
The man tells the dispatcher two dead bodies are blocking the door, another person is passed out from a wound to the chest and several of the 15 trapped patrons are shot. He describes how the wounded patrons are getting weaker.
"They need paramedics. I mean now. We have two guys. They are losing blood," the man tells the dispatcher.
Growing frustrated with the fact they haven't been rescued yet, he says a little later, "We need action."
The dispatcher tells him repeatedly during the hour and a half call that officers are going through the club rescuing people and that they should stay where they are.
"They're coming for you right now," the dispatcher says over again.
The man talking to the dispatcher described how gunman Omar Mateen fired 16 shots into the bathroom without opening the door. Another time, he describes hearing a police robot outside the bathroom door.
The 911 recordings were the latest round of calls released by the city of Orlando after a legal fight with media companies, including The Associated Press. The media companies argued their release would help the public evaluate the police response to the massacre.
In another 911 call, a woman whispers to a dispatcher that Mateen is in the bathroom with her and other patrons and that he is reloading his weapon. "Hurry up," she whispers repeatedly before the connection is dropped.
Toward the end of the call with the man, the dispatcher warns him that SWAT team members are about to set off small explosions in order to breach a wall to the club and rescue them. Shouting can be heard in the background as the wall is being breached, and then men, presumably officers, command "Move! Hands up!"
Mateen was killed during a shootout with SWAT team members after the wall was breached, ending a three-hour standoff during which 49 patrons were killed and another 53 people were seriously injured. Mateen pledged allegiance to the Islamic State group during a call with police negotiators.
At one point, the dispatcher asks the man if he knows the people he's with in the bathroom. The man says no.
"But I'm learning as I go," he said. "I don't know people's names but I do know faces I will never forget as long as I live."